Friday February 23 2018, Daily News Digest

Marketing Lending Return

News Comments Today’s main news: LendingClub increases interest rates. LendingTree plunges 8.13%. P2P default forecasts are on the rise. 29% of Australian consumers believe comprehensive credit reporting changes how they manage finances. Today’s main analysis: LendingTree’s Q4 and full year 2017 results. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Peter Renton shares personal quarterly marketplace lending results. 6 online personal loan lenders that […]

Marketing Lending Return

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

Australia

News Summary

United States

LendingClub Increases Interest Rates on Loans, Files 8K on Change (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Marketplace lending platform LendingClub (NYSE:LC) has filed an 8K with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding interest rate changes.

The rate changes came into affect on February 20th with notable changes including of 0.38% for loan grade E1, 0.39% for loan grades D2-D4, 0.40% for loan grade D5, and 0.47% for loan grade E5.

LendingTree Inc. (TREE) Plunges 8.13% on February 22 (Equities), Rated: AAA

LendingTree Inc. (TREE) had a rough trading day for Thursday February 22 as shares tumbled 8.13%, or a loss of $-30.2 per share, to close at $341.05. After opening the day at $343.05, shares of LendingTree Inc. traded as high as $358.80 and as low as $326.61. Volume was 688,145 shares over 9,300 trades, against an average daily volume of 221,877 shares and a total float of 11.97 million.

LendingTree Reports 4Q & FY 2017 Results Above Guidance (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Fourth Quarter 2017 Business Highlights

  • Revenue from mortgage products of $67.7 million represents an increase of 22% over fourth quarter 2016.
  • Revenue from non-mortgage products of $93.3 million in the fourth quarter represents an increase of 106% over the fourth quarter 2016 and comprised 58% of total revenue.
  • Credit card revenue of $36.9 million. On a proforma basis, giving effect to the CompareCards and MagnifyMoney acquisitions as if they had occurred on January 1, 2016, credit cards revenue grew 35% over fourth quarter 2016.
  • Personal loan revenue of $25.3 million represents accelerated growth of 74% over fourth quarter 2016.
  • Home equity revenue continued its strong momentum, increasing 138% over fourth quarter 2016, and marking the ninth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth exceeding 100%.
  • More than 7.4 million consumers have now signed up for free credit scores and savings alerts through My LendingTree, and the revenue contribution from My LendingTree grew 109% in the fourth quarter compared to the prior year period.
Source: LendingTree

Fourth Quarter 2017 Financial Highlights

  • Consolidated revenue of $161.0 million represents an increase of $60.2 million, or 60%, over revenue in the fourth quarter 2016.
  • GAAP Net Loss from Continuing Operations of $6.5 million, or $0.54 per share, was impacted by a $9.1 millioncharge related to the revaluation of deferred tax assets as a result of U.S. tax law changes and a one-time $10 million commitment to establish a charitable foundation.
  • Variable Marketing Margin of $56.1 million represents an increase of $19.3 million, or 52%, over fourth quarter 2016.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $29.6 million increased $10.7 million, or 57%, over fourth quarter 2016.
  • Adjusted Net Income per share of $0.84 represents an increase of $0.07, or 9%, over fourth quarter 2016.
  • On November 21, 2017, our wholly-owned subsidiary LendingTree, LLC entered into an amended and restated $250.0 million five-year senior secured revolving credit facility which matures on November 21, 2022. Borrowings under the revolving credit facility can be used to finance working capital needs, capital expenditures, and general corporate purposes, including permitted acquisitions. We do not currently have any borrowings outstanding under the revolving credit facility.
  • During fourth quarter 2017, the company repurchased 33 thousand shares of its stock at a weighted-average price per share of $331 for aggregate consideration of $11.0 million. In the first quarter 2018 to-date, the company has repurchased 30 thousand shares at a weighted-average price per share of $362 for aggregate consideration of $11.0 million.
  • On February 21, 2018, the Company’s Board of Directors approved an additional $100 million in share repurchase authorization. As of that date, $116.7 million in share repurchase authorization remained available.

Full-Year 2017 Financial Highlights

  • Record consolidated revenue of $617.7 million, an increase of $233.3 million or 61%, over revenue in full-year 2016.
  • Net Income from Continuing Operations of $19.4 million, or $1.42 per diluted share.
  • Record Variable Marketing Margin of $207 million, an increase of $65.8 million or 47%, over full-year 2016.
  • Record Adjusted EBITDA of $115.1 million, an increase of $45.3 million or 65%, over full-year 2016.
  • Adjusted Net Income per share of $3.78 increased $0.80, or 27%, over full-year 2016.

My Quarterly Marketplace Lending Results – Q4 2017 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

The long decline in my returns has continued with 2017 by far my worst year since I began investing with LendingClub back in 2009. My overall TTM return  in Q4 2017 was 5.01% compared to 6.64% in Q3 2017 and 8.07% one year ago.

Source: Lend Academy

My main Prosper taxable account has had $50,000 of investments starting in 2010 and continuing until 2013. Since then I have just been reinvesting all earnings.

Source: Lend Academy

Lend Academy P2P Fund

While 5.04% is down considerably from where the fund has been it is still significantly better than the 2.77% I received at my six original marketplace lending accounts.

AlphaFlow

What I like about AlphaFlow is that you can quickly build a diversified portfolio of 75-100 properties.

Source: Lend Academy

7 Personal Loan Companies That Help You Pay Off Debt Quickly (Student Loan Hero), Rated: AAA

2. SoFi

The main advantage of SoFi is the fact that it’s the only personal loan company on this list that allows you to borrow up to $100,000 for debt consolidation. Additionally, SoFi doesn’t have a minimum FICO requirement, which makes it the best way to consolidate debt with bad credit. The minimum annual income is on the high side to make up for it, however.

3. Earnest

Earnest has a minimum credit score requirement, but it also has a flexible underwriting program that can take into account special circumstances. There’s no income requirement, so Earnest loans can be useful for entrepreneurs.

4. Payoff

Payoff is a personal loan company that offers loans specifically aimed at consolidating or refinancing your credit card balances. However, the maximum loan amount is on the low end for our list. If you have a smaller amount of debt to consolidate, Payoff might work for you.

5. Upstart

  • Minimum FICO score: 620
  • Minimum annual income: $12,000
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms: three and five years
  • Interest rates: fixed
  • Credit check: soft pull for rate estimates
  • Fees: origination fee of 1% to 8%

6. LendingClub

  • Minimum FICO score: 600
  • Minimum annual income: N/A
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $40,000
  • Loan terms: three and five years
  • Interest rates: fixed
  • Credit check: soft pull to get a rate estimate
  • Fees: origination fee of 1% to 6%

7. Avant

If you’re concerned about your credit score, Avant might be able to help. Avant is known for its accessible debt consolidation loans.

Despite careful planning, TD Bank fumbles online banking upgrade (American Banker), Rated: A

It’s been more than a week since TD Bank first revealed that its long-planned update to its online and mobile banking systems had run into technical difficulties, and many customer are still unable to access their accounts.

A bank spokesman said Tuesday that while the company is making progress on fixing the glitch, he acknowledged that a number of its customers are still unable to use mobile or online platforms to check their accounts, transfer funds or pay bills.

Scott Sanborn Joins LendIt Fintech USA 2018 As Commencement Keynote Speaker (PR Newswire), Rated: A

LendIt Fintech, the world’s leading event in financial services innovation, announced today that Scott Sanborn, LendingClub (NYSE: LC) CEO, will open this year’s conference in San Francisco, the home of technology innovation, with a plea to refocus industry efforts on solving the financial problems of everyday Americans in an increasingly divided nation. From April 9-11, the world’s most prominent and emerging fintech CEOs will gather at Moscone Center to focus on the hot-button topics and issues exploring the future of finance.

Here’s another way Amazon and banks are collaborating (American Banker), Rated: A

SunTrust Banks, Ally Ventures — the strategic investment arm of Ally Financial — the Amazon Alexa Fund and others have raised $16 million in a new round of funding for Greenlight Financial Technology, which makes “smart” debit cards aimed at instilling sound financial habits in kids, teens and college students, the parties announced Wednesday.

ORDER UNDER SECTION 8(f) OF THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940 DECLARING APPLICANT HAS CEASED TO BE AN INVESTMENT COMPANY (SEC), Rated: A

PROSPECT MARKETPLACE :
LENDING CORPORATION :
10 East 40th Street, 42d Floor :
New York, New York 10016

Above named applicant filed an application on January 4, 2018, and an amendment filed January11, 2018, requesting an order under section 8(f) of the Act declaring that it has ceased to be an investment company.

The matter has been considered and it is found, on the basis of the information set forth in the
application, as amended, that applicant has ceased to be an investment company.

Research shows first-time home buying in Sacramento is tough (ABC10), Rated: A

new study by LendingTree, a leading online loan marketplace, ranks the nation’s 100 largest cities to determine the best options for first-time homebuyers.

The worst cities for first-time homebuyers:

  1. Denver
  2. New York City
  3. San Francisco
  4. Austin, Texas
  5. Las Vegas
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Oxnard, Calif.
  8. Boston
  9. Sacramento, Calif.
  10. Miami

The best cities for first-time homebuyers:

  1. Little Rock, Ark.
  2. Birmingham, Ala.
  3. Grand Rapids, Mich.
  4. Youngstown, Ohio
  5. Winston, N.C.
  6. Dayton, Ohio
  7. Indianapolis
  8. Scranton, PA
  9. Pittsburgh
  10. Cincinnati

KBSDirect.com Launches $ 1 Billion No-Load Real Estate Fund on CrowdStreet Marketplace (PR Newswire), Rated: A

CrowdStreet, provider of the leading commercial real estate investment platform for investor acquisition and relationship management, today announced KBS, one of the largest and most respected commercial real estate companies in the United States, has launched a new $1 billion “no load” and no upfront commission growth and income properties fund on the CrowdStreet Marketplace. KBS is offering its new fund, the KBS Growth & Income Fund, through both the CrowdStreet Marketplace and its own direct-to-investor platform at KBSDirect.com, which is powered by CrowdStreet technology. KBS is taking this unique omnichannel marketing approach to provide access and engage a wider array of accredited investors seeking institutional-quality investment opportunities managed by leading professionals.

ArborCrowd Offers Investors Equity in New Multifamily Real Estate Deal (PR Newswire), Rated: B

ArborCrowd, an online commercial real estate crowdfunding company, announced the opportunity for investors to own equity interest in a multifamily property with tremendous upside potential. Tower on Ryan Park (the Property) is a 141-unit, high-rise property located in downtown Mobile, AL.

The total capitalization of the deal is $12.7 million, and ArborCrowd is raising $2.6 million of equity. The Property has a targeted 16 percent to 18 percent Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and a projected hold period of three to five years.

StraightUp launches platform for NYC real estate investing (Bankless Times), Rated: A

With the launch of StraightUp, access to high-potential, curated New York residential development projects is available to investors – those who are neither the well-connected and super-rich elite, nor large institutional investors – for the first time. The platform gives investors a new level of access, transparency and opportunity in the unbeatable, but previously unreachable world of New York City development.

NY Fed finds fintech mortgages quicker, less risky than bank loans (The Hill), Rated: A

Mortgage lenders that exclusively use online applications approve loans quicker, experience fewer defaults, encourage more refinancing and respond to demand shifts better than brick-and-mortar rivals, according to a New York Federal Reserve report released Thursday.

Fintech lending has grown annually by 30 percent from $34 billion to $161 billion, 8 percent of the market, in that time, it reported.

Small Business Loans for Women (LendEDU), Rated: A

Investment Opportunities for Women

1. Golden Seeds

If you’re looking for an angel investment firm that focuses on women, consider Golden Seeds, one of the largest and most active early-stage investment firms for women. They focus on B2B and B2C firms in tech, health care, consumer products, and service industries. They look for companies that have a scalable business model and at least one woman in the C-suite.

2. Belle Capital

This early-state angel investment fund focuses on companies in underserved markets. Belle Capital requires that you have at least one female founder in order to qualify and/or that you’re willing to recruit top female talent to your C-suite. They fund digital, mobile, internet, life sciences, medical devices, health IT, CleanTech, and other sectors.

3. Female Founders Fund

As an early-stage investment fund, Female Founders Fund aims to help companies founded by women. The companies must be based on innovative solutions that will better serve customers. The organization focuses on technology that connects buyers and sellers, e-commerce, web-enabled services, and disruptive communities.

4. Women’s Venture Capital Fund II

The Women’s VC Fund II looks to help boost women in business, making investments in early-stage, revenue-generating companies that have the potential for significant growth. It requires that companies are inclusive of women. It focuses on funding companies based on the West Coast that are working on enterprise SaaS, educational technology, and consumer internet solutions.

5. Women’s Startup Lab

If you’re looking for an accelerator to help you succeed, the Women’s Startup Lab can connect you to a group of mentors who are looking to help female-led businesses. The lab boasts a stellar track record with 90 alumnae and $50 million raised for their companies. In return for their assistance, they ask for 3 percent in equity to pay it forward.

U.S. House Passes Bill Supporting Triple-Digit Predatory Lending (South Florida Caribbean News), Rated: A

A bill passed the lower chamber that would render useless state laws in the majority of states, including the 15 states and the District of Columbia where state interest rate limits prevent payday lending. HR 3299, titled the Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act, passed the House on a 245-171 floor vote.

If passed in the Senate and signed into law by President Donald Trump, the measure will preempt state interest rate caps that now limit the annual percentage rates (APRs) on loans to no more than 36 percent. These respective rate caps now save consumers an estimated $2.2 billion in fees every year.

Payday lenders strip $ 50 million per year from Colorado economy (Craig Press), Rated: B

Payday lenders charge Coloradans an average of $119 in fees and interest to borrow $392, with an average annual percentage rate of 129 percent. This removes $50 million per year from the Colorado economy, according a new report released this week by the Center for Responsible Lending.

Sykes Rejoins Chapman, Expands Renewable Energy, Securitization Practices (Monitor Daily), Rated: B

David Sykes rejoined Chapman and Cutler earlier this month as a partner in the San Francisco office, adding to the firm’s renewable energy and securitization practices.

Sykes represents lenders, lessors, issuers and investors in renewable energy and fintech transactions. He has experience in matters involving debt and equity finance transactions (including tax equity transactions), securitizations, joint ventures, asset acquisitions and divestments.

New Castle Chamber to honor Boggs with community service award (Middletown Transcript), Rated: B

Boggs regularly interacts with U.S. financial regulators on matters pertaining to global and mobile payments, marketplace lending, crowdfunding and cryptocurrency. He also represents technology and innovation companies in their public sector outreach relating to data privacy and cybersecurity, e-government, public policy and regulatory compliance.

United Kingdom

P2P default forecasts are rising, but should investors worry? (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

Zopa figures show its expected default rate is now higher than at the start of the financial crisis in 2007, at 4.52 per cent for loans granted in 2017 against 2.74 a decade previously, but other platforms have similarly high forecasts.

Lending Works predicted default rates of 3.4 per cent for loans made in 2017, which is more than double the rate when it first started lending in 2014, and up from 3.2 per cent in 2016.

RateSetter (which originates consumer loans as well as business and property loans) indicated that its expected default rate is 3.18 per cent for 2018, the same as last year. This is down from 3.43 per cent in 2016 but its default rate was 1.4 per cent when it first started lending in 2011. It increased to 1.54 per cent in 2013 and 2.43 per cent in 2014 before hitting 3.02 per cent in 2015.

Landbay boss makes case for IFISA (AltFi), Rated: A

Buy-to-let mortgage lender Landbay first launched its ISA just in time for ISA season last year. Now, one year on, CEO John Goodall (pictured) has put forward five reasons for investing in the wrapper.

Those reasons are: it’s tax-free, it offers high interest rates, it offers an alternative means of investing, it offers access to a variety of asset classes, and it’s a source of regular income.

The balancing act in digital bank lending (AltFi), Rated: A

It’s for this reason that more or less every adult in the UK is forced to bin three or four letters a month from their bank offering them a loan or overdraft. In this day and age, users of online banking are just as likely to find themselves having to hide a not-so-surreptitious offer of a pre-approved loan of £20,000, wedged in among the payments on their online statement.

In the new world of digital banking, the want (/the need?) to lend is a source of great embarrassment. Credit is treated as a kind of dirty, best hushed up necessity. Nowhere is this more evident than in the launch of Tandem’s first major product: a credit card.

That card – available in four vibrant colours – carries an APR of 18.9 per cent.

And it’s not just Tandem. Monzo, Starling, Revolut, N26 – they’ve all launched or are thinking about launching a suite of loan options. Revolut partnered with peer-to-peer lender Lending Works to power its consumer credit offering. N26 has teamed up with auxmoney and Younited Credit. They’re all gearing up to lend money but they’re stuck in this weird position where they can’t speak plainly about wanting to lend.

Assetz Capital to host intermediary events (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: B

Assetz Capital has announced dates for its intermediary roadshow and smart lending intermediary event.

The intermediary roadshow will be held at Cedar Court Hotel, Wakefield, on 21st March, while the smart lending intermediary event will take place at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, on 17th April.

UK Consumer Credit 2017: Forecasts and Future Opportunities (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Rate of growth in consumer credit gross advances, which picked up in 2015, has slowed and year-end figures for 2017 are expected to show growth of around 4.6%. Growth will remain moderate throughout the rest of the forecast period, meaning that gross advances are expected to total of around £329bn by 2021. On the supply side, high incidences of bad debt, tighter lending criteria, and a cautious approach towards unsecured lending among providers and regulators will check the rate of growth of credit supply over the forecast period.

Critical success factors include in this report –
– Retail finance specialists should identify which retail sectors offer the best opportunities for growth, whether due to rising levels of spending or lack of current finance options. Innovation from fintech companies will soon provide small retailers with new financing options, increasing competition in the market. Hence, they should tailor their propositions to meet the needs of customers.
– Partnerships with established firms that have a longstanding reputation will help achieve the much needed scale for P2P platforms to compete.

Moreover, these report offers insight into –
– The key macroeconomic, regulatory, and other factors that will drive the demand for, and supply of, consumer credit over the next five years.
– The outlook for total consumer credit including overdrafts, P2P, motor finance, payday lending, home credit, credit cards, and retail finance.

Scope
– Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending will see double-digit growth up to 2021. The sector will continue to enjoy rapid expansion due to increased consumer awareness and partnerships with other related sectors.
– The motor finance boom has started to decline, with growth falling to a lower level of 3.4% in 2017. New car sales are falling, and the excess of vehicles that will enter the used car market over the next few years will drive down prices. Both trends will dampen demand for credit.
– Payday lending has been severely curtailed by tougher regulation, including strict price caps and comprehensive affordability checks. These measures have significantly reduced the supply of credit and will depress gross lending.

Banks not saying how they’ll support businesses hit by Brexit (The National), Rated: A

Brexit and Scottish Business, from former MPs Michelle Thomson and Roger Mullin of consultancy firm Momentous Change, reveals the concerns of 236 of Scotland’s senior business figures about leaving the EU. The report comes against a backdrop of a collapse in bank net lending. In the final two quarters of 2017, net lending to SMEs across 30 UK banks – 75 per cent of the UK lending market – was dwarfed by that from peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle.

International

 

INVESTORS NEWLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT HEDGE FUNDS (All About Alpha), Rated: AAA

Deustche Bank recently released its Alternative Investment Survey, the 16th annual.  This year the questionnaires received replies from 436 global hedge fund investors, with assets under management of $2.1 trillion, who shared their insights, sentiments, and allocation plans.

Over the year, the HF industry grew by 6.4%; assets under management reached the record figure $3.21 trillion at year’s end. In last year’s survey, investors’ predictions had fallen a bit short, holding that the year’s end figure would be $3.14 trillion.

For the year to come, respondents are predicting further expansion, and a year’s end AUM of $3.42 trillion.

Half of the respondents expect to increase their own allocation. Another 39% said they will maintain their allocation where it is, so that only 11% plan to reduce it. Last year, only 37% of survey respondents were saying they expected to enhance this sliced of their portfolio, 41% expected to hold to the status quo, and 22% planned to reduce.

Addressing Demand (Medium), Rated: A

While we’ve made industry-leading progress in issuing over $23m in blockchain-backed loans, there is still a demand of over $1.3b in loan requests that we are diligently working to address.

 

Australia

Brokers have ‘key role’ in communicating CCR changes (TheAdviser), Rated: AAA

RateSetter surveyed 1,000 Australian consumers earlier this year and found that 29 per cent of people believe that the comprehensive credit reporting (CCR) changes will affect the way they approach and manage their finances by way of positive behavioural changes such as making payments on time and paying more than the minimum amount on their credit card.

SMEs ‘over-reliant’ on banks, but gradually changing (MyBusiness), Rated: A

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released a new report which found that, although banks still dominate in funding small businesses, new bank lending is declining in a number of countries.

The Scoreboard found a median year-on-year drop of 6.5 per cent in bankruptcies in 2016, following a drop of 6.9 per cent in 2014 and 9.1 per cent in 2015.

The OECD report noted that SMEs accounted for 99.8 per cent of all enterprises in Australia, at just over 2.1 million in 2015/16.

It found that SME loans accounted for around 30 per cent of all outstanding business loans in Australia in 2016 and added that the average interest rate charged to SMEs in Australia between 2013 and 2016 were between 5.1 to 6.5 per cent – nearer the higher end of rates when compared to other OECD countries.

 

 

Brokers urged to help combat fear about CCR (AustralianBroker), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lender RateSetter called on brokers to help combat misunderstanding and fear about changes to credit reporting. It said yesterday that its research found that only one-third of people have any knowledge of the impending changes to how credit records are shared.

The lender’s research shows that to achieve positive outcomes under comprehensive credit reporting, consumer awareness needs to be significantly improved, given that two-thirds of people (67%) are unaware of these changes.

Crowdfunded neobank receives credit licence (MortgageBusiness), Rated: B

Online lender Xinja is set to target mortgage borrowers in Australia’s capital cities after receiving its Australian credit licence.

The neobank, which launched its equity crowdfunding offer in January 2018, has been granted an Australian credit licence (ACL) from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which will allow it to use its digital portal to offer home loans to borrowers.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday May 25 2017, Daily News Digest

P2P global investments

News Comments Today’s main news: Investors pressure OnDeck to make bigger expense cuts. LendingClub celebrates 10 years in business. Zopa launches ISA. Earnest is not for sale, after all. Orca to launch new P2P rating service. Moody’ downgrades China on debt risk. The first ETF for ABS. Today’s main analysis: Orchard Platform reports Q1 results. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 10 years of excellence […]

P2P global investments

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

  • Moody’s downgrades China on debt risk. GP:”Unclear if this will have a real effect on the capital markets but it will certainly anger the Chinese government. If I were the Chinese government I would setup my own rating agency and build it into a real credible agency and not a government puppet so that the day when I need my own rating agency to maybe skew a little bit the ratings it will be credible enough.”
  • Chinese investors among majority of EB-5 visa recipients. AT: “It’s not surprising. One reason cited in this story is the harsh treatment offered to Christians by the Chinese government, so many of these families are using financial concerns as a cover up for religious oppression concerns. Both are legitimate.”

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Middle East

News Summary

United States

OnDeck under pressure to make bigger cuts to cost base (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Activist investors are turning up the heat on OnDeck, the online lender, which said this month it would curb originations and cut costs in an attempt to turn a profit by the end of the year.

The company still needed to think bigger, according to Mario Cibelli, managing partner at Marathon Partners Equity Management, who wrote to board members in April urging them to take an axe to the $194m annual cost base and explore a sale of the business. Net revenues, after loan-loss provisions and funding costs, came to $109m last year.

Pressure on OnDeck is likely to come from other quarters too. EJF Capital, an activist investor, has built a stake equivalent to about 9 per cent of the shares outstanding since the turn of the year, according to disclosures tallied by Bloomberg. In February the Arlington, Virginia-based group, which ranks as OnDeck’s second-largest shareholder with more than 9 per cent, said it may seek talks with management.

LendingClub Celebrates Ten Years of Online Lending (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

LendingClub (NYSE:LC), the largest marketplace lender in the US, is celebrating its tenth anniversary. It is pretty hard to believe that LendingClub is now ten years old.

To paraphrase the LendingClub history:

  • Within the first 100 days of its existence, LendingClub originated its first $1 million in loan. The average interest rate, at that time, stood at 12.6%. By the end of 2007,  LendingClub had originated about 500 loans for a total of $3.5 million.
  • In 2010, LendingClub originated $10 million in a single month.
  • By 2012, LendingClub has originated $1 billion loans as institutional money becomes more interested in the Fintech platform. The following year, the first banks start investing on the LendingClub platform.
  • In 2014 Lending Club launched its IPO – the second largest for the year.
  • By 2017, LendingClub has originated more than $26 billion in loans as it enters the next decade of financial innovation.

10 Years of Excellence & Innovation (LendingClub), Rated: AAA

  • 2007 By August, the LendingClub website launches. By year’s end, approximately 500 loans worth over $3.5 million are made. 
  • 2008 The subprime mortgage crisis spreads; global markets sell off and the Great Recession takes hold. Despite the chaos and potential risk of halting its burgeoning business, LendingClub demonstrates its commitment to working with regulators, entering a six-month quiet period to register with the SEC and prepare to issue a security (the Note) that can be offered and sold to investors through its website.
  • 2009 LendingClub continues to stay focused on the opportunity to deliver investment alternatives to investors and introduces LendingClub IRAs to allow investors to use the platform to work toward their retirement goals.
  • 2010 Propelled by its SEC registered Notes and a robust investor base, LendingClub crosses $100 million in loans and 10,000 borrowers in the first quarter. By March, the company captures 79% of the U.S. marketplace lending market after facilitating $8,664,750 in monthly loan originations.
  • 2011 LendingClub continues to innovate on its borrower and investor offerings, surpassing $200 million in loans for borrowers at the beginning of the year. 
  • 2012 In 2012 alone, U.S. banks close 2,267 branches and approve a record-low 14.8% of small business loan requests. LendingClub is named to the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers 2012 list and originations top $1 billion.
  • 2013 LendingClub welcomes its first bank investor partners to the platform – Titan Bank and Congressional Bank.
  • 2014 A big year for tech IPOs, LendingClub is one of the biggest of the year, coming in second to Alibaba and listed on the NYSE alongside others, including Virgin America and GoPro.
  • 2015 Big banks continue to cut back on loans to small businesses, making it difficult for them to get access to credit. LendingClub becomes a founding member of the Small Business Borrower’s Bill of Rights and expands small business products to include a small business line of credit. 
  • 2016 LendingClub launches its auto refinance product, delivering a lower-cost alternative to car owners. 
  • 2017 LendingClub looks toward a new decade of financial innovation, leveraging the power of its marketplace model to deliver more value to both borrowers and investors. An investor mobile application is launched, making it easier than ever for retail investors to track their progress.

Thank you for 10 years (LendingClub Email), Rated: AAA

From the LendingClub newsletter:

Over the past 10 years, you have helped power the loans facilitated by LendingClub’s platform for borrowers looking to finance their financial lives. Together, we have helped nearly 2 million borrowers access affordable credit. That means we’ve helped finance debt consolidation, home improvement projects, medical expenses and weddings for millions of people in the United States.

  • More than 160,000 retail investors have gotten unprecedented access to invest in consumer credit through LendingClub’s platform
  • Nearly 2 million borrowers have gotten access to affordable credit through LendingClub’s marketplace
  • 98% of investors who invest in 100+ Notes of relatively equal size have seen positive returns
  • 1,700 loans are reviewed per day, and more than 50,800 loans per month
  • Loans receive full commitment in 3-4 days on average
  • Auto refinance customers saved an average of $1,500
  • Borrowers pay 24% lower in interest than they were paying on their outstanding debt or credit cards
  • 73% of borrowers experience a FICO score increase three months after obtaining their loan–with an average score increase of 28 points!

Consumer Unsecured Q1 2017 (Orchard Platform), Rated: AAA

Key Insights

  • Origination volume increased in Q1, continuing the trend that began last quarter. Q1 origination volume was up 4.6% from Q4, though still down 44% from Q4 2015, when the market reached its highest originations. Early indications in 2017 are that investor sentiment is improving, and we believe we’re likely to see increased investment over the next quarter.
  • 2014 and 2015 vintage charge-offs have increased more steeply than in prior years. We believe there are two main sources driving this increase. First, individual platforms have shown increasing charge-offs during these years. We do not have strong evidence of the reasons for this deterioration, but in recent months, some of the larger platforms have reworked their credit models which they believe should address the increases they have seen. Second, and also important to note, is that 2014 and 2015 vintages experienced substantial growth in subprime originations, which tend to charge-off at higher rates. The increase in subprime loans as a percentage of the overall market skews the results for recent years upward when compared with the originations from previous years that had a smaller percentage of subprime loans.
  • Borrower rates rose slightly in Q1, increasing 24bps from Q4 levels. The long-term trend over the last three years has been decreasing interest rates, in part driven by the decline of subprime originations in the past year. This will be an interesting statistic to monitor in the coming year as the Fed continues to raise interest rates in line with their tightening policy.
Source: Orchard Platform Quarterly Industry Report
Source: Orchard Platform Quarterly Industry Report
Source: Orchard Platform Quarterly Industry Report

With an Asset-Backed Debt ETF, the Bet Is If You Can Pay What You Owe (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

BlackRock Inc.’s planned iShares Consumer Asset-Backed Securities ETF will invest in notes supported by consumer loans, such as student debt and credit cards, according to a regulatory filing on Friday. If approved, it will be the first ETF to target the ABS market.

Consumer debt has ballooned in recent years as Americans ramp up borrowing and capitalize on historically low interest rates. Household debt topped $12.7 trillion in the first quarter, up 1.2 percent from the end of 2016. Signs of trouble are however brewing, with suspicions of fraud in some auto loan applications, a decline in credit-card recovery rates and an increase in late payments on private student loans.

The iShares MBS ETF has $10.6 billion under management while the iShares CMBS ETF oversees $240 million, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Futuristic Fintech, With a Female Focus (WSJ), Rated: A

SCOTT SAUNDERS, CEO of the online lending company Payoff, did not set out to build a personalized financial coaching app for women. In 2014, he began assembling a team that eventually included a cognitive neuroscientist, a marketer, an advertising executive and the data scientist behind eHarmony’s match algorithm. The goal: to build an app that used psychological testing to match users of both genders with artificially intelligent financial coaches. By focusing on the intersection of money and psychology, Saunders hoped to minimize financial stress and maximize the pleasure users get from spending and saving.

Earnest Not for Sale. Securitization is Moving Forward (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Last week, Crowdfund Insider referenced a report in Bloomberg that Earnest was looking for buyers as it struggled to raise new funds. A company representative has now stated that Earnest is not looking to sell the company.

Zibby Announces $ 13.5 Million Investment led by CURO Financial Technologies Corp. and MissionOG (LendIt), Rated: A

Zibby, the omnichannel lease‐to‐own payment option for online and in‐store shopping, today announced a $13.5 million investment led by CURO and MissionOG, with participation from Blumberg Capital, Tribeca Venture Partners and other institutional investors. This brings Zibby’stotal capital raised to more than $150 million. With the investment, Zibby will further expand its presence among retailers to offer non‐prime and near‐prime customers a monthly payment option for furniture, appliances, electronics and other consumer durables.

Baltimore fintech startup Blispay raises $ 12 million (Baltimore Sun), Rated: A

Blispay, a Baltimore-based financial technology company, has raised $12 million to accelerate the marketing and sales outreach for its financing platform.

The Series A round was led by FirstMark, Accomplice and NEA. New investors included Camden Partners and F-Prime Capital. The round brings the company’s total funding to just under $25 million.

Frost & Sullivan Commends AutoGravity for Transforming Automotive Financing Industry (Frost & Sullivan), Rated: A

Based on its recent analysis of the automotive financing industry, Frost & Sullivan recognizes AutoGravity with the 2017 North American Frost & Sullivan Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award. AutoGravity’s first-of-its-kind FinTech platform empowers car buyers to browse any new or used car, get multiple binding financing offers in minutes and select the deal and lender that’s right for them. Just months after launching its native mobile app in the summer of 2016, AutoGravity introduced new car leasing and used car loan features with the aim of transforming the auto financing industry.

While simplifying the financing process for customers, AutoGravity’s app also saves dealers the effort of educating customers on various models and financing options. Additionally, it saves time by eliminating the need to apply for financing at the dealership and process pages of paperwork. Most significantly, it supports dealers by providing them with qualified, enthusiastic car buyers.

Currently, AutoGravity has 60+ employees, and has recorded 350,000 app downloads in just one year. It has expanded to 48 states in the United States and has on-boarded many of the nation’s top-20 automotive lenders, as well as 1,500+ dealers. Due to these successes and its ability to break new ground in the auto financing industry, Frost & Sullivan is pleased to present AutoGravity with the 2017 North American Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award.

Fintech Tools That Can Change The World Of Finance (Forbes), Rated: A

According to an EY study last year, fintech is growing in popularity, with roughly 15.5% of digitally active consumers using financial tech products — a figure that was likely to double within 12 months. The United States had the second-highest adoption rate of fintech tools (16.5%), following Hong Kong with 29.1%.

  • 1. Artificial Intelligence – Fenergo deploys A.I. to analyze unstructured data, including social media, intracompany communication and linguistics in order to more effectively satisfy Know-Your-Customer and Anti-Money-Laundering requirements. – Jason LeeDailyPay
  • 2. Peer-To-Peer And Apple Pay 
  • 5. Riskalyze, RetireUp and Asset-Map – Riskalyze provides a user-friendly and client-facing software that allows us to tell the story of risk, which we believe is crucial for an investor to understand in order to have success. RetireUp, a user-friendly income planning tool, and Asset-Map offer very visual understandings to clients on where they stand when it comes to their finances. – Lance ScottBay Harbor Wealth Management
  • 7. PeerStreet And WorldRemit – Services like WorldRemit are empowering immigrants with better choice, security and transparency in sending money back home to their loved ones. – Binna KimVested
  • 8. Faster Payment Rails – Our old ACH network is improving. Instead of settling payments once per day, as it has for decades, it will start to settle multiple times per day. This will improve settlement success rates and prevent e-check kiting. Coming right behind this improvement are a number of real-time payment initiatives. – Charlie YouakimSezzle
  • 9. Decision Logic – I’m excited about Decision Logic because it provides lenders the ability to verify a borrower’s sensitive information and understand their borrower’s financial history. – Chad OtarExcel Capital Management, Inc.
  • 10. Peer-To-Peer Lending
  • 11. Robo-Advisers
  • 12. Greenlight – I just got my ten-year-old daughter a Greenlight card. It allows me to automate her allowance and potentially control the spaces where she spends money. – Matthew MayAcuity 

Fintech reinvents lottery bonds (Financial Times), Rated: A

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have a knack for taking old things and making them look new. The latest example of which is Long Game, which TechCrunch tells us is “a bank account, with a twist”:

The personal finance app allows users to play games and win cash prizes up to $1 million. It may sound like a gimmick, but these are FDIC-insured accounts backed by Blue Ridge Bank in Virginia.

[…]

In addition to the possibilities of cash rewards, users accrue .1 percent interest. She hopes that participants will take saving seriously and view the games as a bonus.

While Long Game touts the $1 million prize possibility, so far the largest check they’ve written is $1,000. Like the actual lottery, it’s an odds-based game and the chances of the app making you a millionaire are 1 in 227 million.

Here is the GAO Report on Fintech that was Delivered to Congress (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

This one falls under recently discovered. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report on Financial Technology, or Fintech, for Congress this past April.

The GAO explained;

“You asked us to provide information on the fintech industry, including the marketplace lending subsector, such as its structure and development over the last several years, as well as how federal regulators supervise fintech firms. This report, the first in a series of planned reports on fintech, describes four commonly referenced subsectors of fintech: marketplace lending; mobile payments; digital wealth management; and distributed ledger technology and their regulatory oversight.”

Ann Fulmer Joins FormFree as Chief Strategy and Industry Relations Officer (PR Newswire), Rated: A

FormFree today announced that it has hired mortgage loan quality subject matter expert and analyst Ann Fulmer as its chief strategy and industry relations officer. FormFree’s flagship product, AccountChek, is an asset verification app that streamlines the loan underwriting process for both borrowers and lenders, resulting in higher borrower satisfaction and shaving more than a week off the time it takes to close a loan.

In her role, Fulmer will drive FormFree’s strategic planning and implementation, manage the firm’s institutional relationships and interactions with federal and state regulators and oversee outreach to industry associations and advocacy groups. In addition, she will spearhead the firm’s long-term development of a comprehensive mortgage compliance solution.

New fiduciary rule for financial advisers expected to go into effect in June (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), Rated: B

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta on Tuesday made it clear that the U.S. Department of Labor would not delay the implementation of the rule,  announcing the agency’s intentions in a Wall Street Journal opinion column.

Tuesday’s announcement that the rule is going forward may not be the end of the discussion.

How Small Businesses Can Benefit from Loyalty Programs (Kabbage), Rated: B

Almost all companies find that they have to spend less money to keep customers than they have to spend to attract new people through the door or to their shopping website. Some companies may access small business loans for their initial investment. They understand that they can benefit from this investment because it provides them with an efficient way to market. The extra profits will allow them to pay the loan back and keep more for themselves.

United Kingdom

Zopa announces ISA launch (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Zopa, the pioneering financial services company, announces today that it will launch its Innovative Finance ISAs in June (pending HMRC approval). With demand expected to be high, existing customers will be given priority access ahead of new customers.

In preparation for the Innovative Finance ISA, Zopa is also revamping its investor products by introducing Zopa Core and announcing the retirement of Zopa Access and Classic. Investors in Zopa Core will lend in the same risk markets as Access and Classic (A*-C) but will not be covered by the Safeguard fund. Zopa Core will offer a higher target return of 3.9% after fees and expected credit losses, as compared to 3.7% and 2.9% for Classic and Access.

The Innovative Finance ISA will be launched in four phases:
1. The first stage (from 15th June) will be focused on existing customers who want to open a new IFISA (limit of £20,000) and lend through Core and Plus.
2. The second stage (1st July 2017 to 31st July 2017) will enable existing customers to sell their current loans and re-purchase similar loans in an IFISA wrapper. This will allow investors to retain Safeguarded loans in the IFISA. Any investing through new lending, or relending as capital is returned, will be onto Plus or Core only.
3. The third stage (from August 2017, but dependent on meeting demand for new IFISAs) will allow existing customers to transfer existing ISA investments with other providers to Zopa.
4. And finally, once we have met demands of existing customers, we will welcome investments from new customers.

UK P2P Lending Market Researcher Orca Dives into P2P Provider Rating Services (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Orca, an independent data, research and analysis providers on the UK P2P lending market has announced its plans to launch its own four-factor rating service for individual P2P providers, the Orca Rating. The rating will be designed in partnership with Dublin City University’s Irish Centre for Cloud Computing and Commerce research team, to respond to the growth of the asset class and the demand for more independent analysis and information on P2P lending.

The Orca rating will individually analyze four factors — performance, liquidity, operator health and security — aiming to go beyond existing single platform ratings and enable advisers and investors to assess all fundamental criteria at once when comparing and choosing P2P lending platforms.

According to Orca data, the P2P market has now surpassed £9B cumulative total lent with 2016 alone seeing a 40% increase in investment in the asset class.

P2P lender ArchOver granted full FCA authorisation (Finextra), Rated: A

ArchOver, the peer-to-peer (P2P) business lending platform, has secured full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to operate as a P2P lending platform (Article 36H).

Since launching in September 2014, ArchOver has facilitated over £35 million of investment over its platform, operating under interim permissions granted by the FCA. Full authorisation will support ArchOver in attracting new lenders to the platform and allow it to continue working with businesses to make access to funding as easy and simple as possible.

M&A hits Alternative Credit: MW Eaglewood to merge with Pollen Street Capital (AltFi), Rated: A

The respective managers of the £822m P2P Global Investments and the £200m HoneyComb investment trusts will merge, creating one of the largest specialist asset management  firms focused on non-bank lending.

MW Eaglewood and Pollen Street Capital, the respective two parties, are under discussion as to adjustments to their mandates but Lindsey McMurray, managing partner of Pollen Street, will become head of the new firm which will be called Pollen Street Capital.

P2P Global Investments is the largest closed-ended fund investing in non-bank lending in the UK, having launched three years ago. While, as its name suggests, it originally was a vehicle for exposure to the P2P and marketplace lending market it has moved more into niches within the alternative Credit spectrum in recent months.

Should more bridging lenders launch mobile apps? (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

Moving to an app-based approach is something that many players in the bridging industry would like to do sooner rather than later, according to LendInvest.

The comments follow the news that bridging lender Henley Finance will be releasing its first app on 1st June in order to make applying for finance easier.

Are FinTech brands a real alternative to traditional banking? (The River Group), Rated: A

Now, mobile banking has been a ‘thing’ for more than a decade and, according to research by ING, 55 per cent of us in the UK are managing our finances this way, with a further rise of 12 per cent expected this year.

Atom pitches itself as so customer-centric that you can personalise the app and actually choose the colours of the logo and how the name of your bank appears on your phone. Its tone is highly conversational, quirky without seeming unprofessional.

Atom pitches itself as so customer-centric that you can personalise the app and actually choose the colours of the logo and how the name of your bank appears on your phone. Its tone is highly conversational, quirky without seeming unprofessional.

Whereas traditional banks are still perceived as slow, Monzo demonstrates the speed of its technology.

Both businesses are inviting collaboration to help develop their services – Monzo through sharing its API so customers can build apps using their own data, and Atom through inviting members to join its community.

China

China Hit by First Moody’s Downgrade Since 1989 on Debt Risk (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Moody’s Investors Service cut its rating on China’s debt for the first time since 1989, challenging the view that the nation’s leadership will be able to rein in leverage while maintaining the pace of economic growth.

Stocks and the yuan slipped in early trading after Moody’s reduced the rating to A1 from Aa3 on Wednesday, with markets paring losses in the afternoon. Moody’s cited the likelihood of a “material rise” in economy-wide debt and the burden that will place on the state’s finances, while also changing the outlook to stable from negative.

Total outstanding credit climbed to about 260 percent of GDP by the end of 2016, up from 160 percent in 2008, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. At the same time, China’s external debt is low by international standards, at around 12 percent of gross domestic product, according to the International Monetary Fund, meaning that a downgrade isn’t likely to be as disruptive as it would be for nations more reliant on international funding.

While China’s debt risks have been swelling for years, the cut by Moody’s comes as some of those pressures ease. Nominal economic growth in the first quarter rose at the fastest pace since 2012 — 11.8 percent in current-price terms — making the problem of excess leverage a little more manageable, while the return of factory price inflation is beefing up profits for indebted state-owned industries, helping them service and repay loans.

Moody’s lowered China’s credit-rating outlook to negative from stable in March 2016, citing rising debt, falling currency reserves and uncertainty over authorities’ ability to carry out reforms. About a month later, S&P Global Ratings also warned that rising local debt was pressuring the nation’s rating.

S&P currently rates China’s foreign and local-currency long-term debt at AA- with a negative outlook, and Fitch places an A+ rating on both foreign and local currency long-term debt with a stable outlook.

Chinese Investors Among Majority Of EB-5 Visa Recipients (NPR), Rated: A

The EB-5 visa grants permanent U.S. residence to anyone investing a half million dollars in a U.S.-based development project. Eighty percent of EB-5 recipients are Chinese.

WANG: (Through interpreter) Actually, everyone I know has applied for EB-5s. We’re just ordinary people. We’re not wealthy.

WANG: (Through interpreter) I’m only doing this for my son’s education. He is in a good local school, but all they do is study for tests. The Chinese education system turns everyone into the same type of person.

European Union

Narrow Escape for German RECF, Green Crowdinvesting Now in Legislator’s Crosshairs (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

The Financial Committee therefore rejected the proposal to extend the prospectus exemption of crowdinvesting ‒which currently applies only to the suboptimal shareholder loans, to all securities, including equity shares. The committee also concluded against raising the threshold of fundraising requiring a prospectus from €2.5 million to €5 million, and in favor of keeping the crowdinvesting ceiling per project per retail investor at €1,000 (€10,000, if qualified investor).

On one issue, however, the German crowdfunding sector breathed a sigh of relief: the proposal made by credit institutions to exclude real estate crowdfunding from the KASG has been taken off the table.

The opponents to real estate crowdfunding had alleged that real estate should be excluded from the crowdfunding exemptions because real estate projects did not foster innovation, as projects in crowdfunding should, and because crowdfunding them could trigger to a real estate bubble. These arguments were successfully rebuffed.

Next to real estate, green Crowdinvesting is also a very successful branch of German crowdinvesting. Its most common form is the refinancing of existing renewable energy (photovoltaic, wind and bioenergy) plants through platforms such as fairzinsung, Greenvesting, GreenXmoney LeihDeinerUmweltGeld und Wiwin. The yield is guaranteed by feed-in tariffs. Other platforms, such as Bettervest, specialize in energy-efficiency projects. Several, such as ecoligo facilitate investments in renewable energy in developing countries. Many of the platforms are not only financial brokers between issuers and investors, they are also expert advisors, shareholders, or service operators for the issuers.

In the eyes of the legislator, human or capital ties between issuers and platforms pose a risk of conflict of interest and should be forbidden. According to the committee, a platform tied to an issuer would not be able to vet its projects with the necessary objectivity, hence would not properly defend the interests of the investors.

International

Ant Financial close to buying MoneyGram (New York Post), Rated: AAA

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Financial is moving closer to getting regulatory approval to buy MoneyGram, The Post has learned — despite concerns in Washington about money laundering.

“Ant and its advisers are working very constructively with [federal regulators]” to close the $1.2 billion MoneyGram acquisition, a source close to the situation said, referring to the Congressional Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, which must approve the transaction as it involves a major foreign investment in a company in a key business sector.

Shareholders of Dallas-based MoneyGram, a money-transfer company, approved the sale to Ant for $18 a share on May 16.

How to Make it as a Woman in FinTech: “Don’t Wait to Become a Leader” (Finovate), Rated: A

Adding to our stellar line up of leading women in FinTech, we speak to Alex Foster about how she has become Head of Insurance & Finance Sector & Post Trade Services at BT, and what she would suggest if you were just starting out as a woman in tech.

What was your light bulb moment?

My light bulb moment came about four to five years ago, when I began working with bankers, some who were friends, leaving their traditional roles on the trading floor to create new and exciting FinTech, RegTech, and InsurTech companies. As we know, these start-ups are a growing source of innovation in the financial markets industry.  But their small size can create challenges around market adoption, delivery and meeting the stringent contractual or compliance expectations of large financial institutions. We started to work with these companies to help them scale-up to obtain a global reach. I realised the monumental impact that these technologies and FinTech firms could achieve when the right partnerships are in place.

Peter Leonidou Parts Ways with Leverate to Head Early-Stage Fintech Firm (Finance Magnates), Rated: B

Leverate, a technology provider specializing in brokerage solutions for the financial services industry, has parted ways with its Head of B2B Sales Peter Leonidou, who ends a two-year tenure with the technology provider, Finance Magnates has learned.

Peter leaves Leverate to join PROTECHFX LTD, a fintech startup, which according to its website is just starting out on its journey, or at best still operating in its early stages.

Australia

FinTechs Afterpay, Ratesetter and Society One pick up Finnie awards (Mozo), Rated: AAA

The winners of FinTech Australia’s inaugural Finnie Awards have been announced, with familiar names Afterpay, Ratesetter and SocietyOne among them.

The awards were handed out across 17 categories, including workplace diversity, insurtech and peer-to-peer lending, to recognise innovation and excellence in the FinTech space.

Online lender RateSetter was a finalist for the FinTech of the Year award, and also successfully took out two spots, for Excellence in both consumer and business lending. These awards were both focused on “outstanding B2B lending results through innovative yet stable, sustainable operations.”

SocietyOne, another online challenger to the big banks, won for Excellence in Peer-to-peer Lending. The award recognised a peer-to-peer platform that showed stringent security measures, a strong market reputation, ease of application and competitive interest rates and loan terms.

India

Startup Insurance Company Acko General Insurance Raises $ 30M (IndianWeb2), Rated: A

Set-up by Varun Dua, previously founder of Coverfox, Acko General Insurance  has received it’s in principle regulatory clearance to launch a General Insurance business in India.

In a regulated business, Acko has raised $30mn, which in effect makes it one of the largest seed rounds for a startup in India.

Asia

The first Internet life insurance company and Thai life opened (STCN), Rated: AAA

Recently, the first domestic Internet life insurance company and Thai life officially opened. It is understood that the original vice president of insurance and property insurance Li Yuquan in the life of the ceremony was held. In August 2016 the Insurance Regulatory Commission to the peace and life of the preparation and approval, the general manager is the former deputy general manager of the sea life Wang Hao.

In January this year, Hetai Life Insurance was approved by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission. Registered capital of 1.5 billion yuan, registered in Jinan City, Shandong Province. The legal representative of the company Liu Xin.

Middle East

Dubai Regulator Launches Special Testing Licensing for Fintech Startups (Finance Magnates), Rated: A

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today released the details of its Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) which allows fintech firms to go through a special testing stage prior to their approval as fully operational firms.

Fintech operators will be able to use the ITL licence to test their products for a period of 6 to 12 months, which could be extended upon DFSA’s discretion.

Successful applicants will then be required to obtain a full financial services licence to continue formally operating. By contrast, fintech firms that fail to meet the outcomes detailed in the regulatory test plan will have to cease activities.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

July 7th 2016, Daily News Digest

July 7th 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments United States EarnUp raises a $3mil seed round to help 200 million consumers smooth their loan repayment experience. Could EarnUp be a good lead source for lenders ? Or a good alternative data source ? A great table of MPL raises and valuations from CrunchBase, who claims that data hints at future down […]

July 7th 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

  • EarnUp raises a $3mil seed round to help 200 million consumers smooth their loan repayment experience. Could EarnUp be a good lead source for lenders ? Or a good alternative data source ?
  • A great table of MPL raises and valuations from CrunchBase, who claims that data hints at future down rounds for marketplace lenders. However, we have recently seen BizFi, Promise Financial and more raising good rounds at decent terms. Perhaps there is a difference between fund-raising for mature MPLs and fund-raising for challenger Alt Lending 3.0 start-ups.
  • Very interesting 1st hand data from Morningstar about the state of US consumer debt, including trends and statistics. Credit Cards charge-off rate chart, 90 days delinquent data per asset class.
  • 500 Startups shares fintech investment trends chart and data and discussed government policies that could and should enable fintech innovation.
  • Through the survey of France’s P2P and MPL lenders, a great analysis of the lessons learned from Lending Club’s crisis.
  • Securitization trends in Marketplace Lending. A must read.
  • Acquiring borrowers is difficult. Acquiring borrowers at purchase decision time is easier. Focusing on point-of-sale partnerships to generate credit demand is a very interesting direction which is, therefore, popular and gaining ground. A quick article as a reminder of this interesting direction.
  • Royal of Canada dumped 99.5% of their LC stock in Q1 2016. Interesting timing.

Australia

  • Getting SME lender’s loan data is at best difficult. In a space where we talk about transparency, SME originator’s data is a good example of the opposite. RateSetter stands out for publishing their data which lead to a nice summary, mostly figure based, article. I am not sure if this data is from RateSetter Australia only or includes other geographies.

United Kingdom

  • A small article, that is not well researched, not well documented, but asks a question that is worth exploring a lot more “How can p2p lending companies fail, and what happens in that case ?” . The quick and dirty answer is: if they are setup right, where the operations and the loan books are separate with backup servicing, the only effect is that new loans stop being generated. We would love to publish a long article on this matter.

European Union

 

United States

Paying Loans Sucks – FinTech Startup EarnUp Lands Million To Intelligently Automate Payments, (PR Newswire) ,Rated: AAA

 EarnUp, a consumer-first fintech platform that intelligently automates loan payments, announced its launch today with $3 million in seed funding.  Blumberg Capital, Kapor Capital, Camp One Ventures, Fenway Summer Ventures, and other leading angel investors provided seed capital to accelerate the platform’s development and expand user access with a mission to improve consumer financial health. Forbes recently announced EarnUp as a winner of the prestigious Financial Solutions Lab in partnership with JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) and the Center for Financial Services Innovation. Though still in private beta, EarnUp already manages hundreds of millions of dollars in consumer loans on its platform. More information is available at www.EarnUp.com.

“Millions of Americans suffer financial stress from income volatility, where their income doesn’t match up with when loan payments are due,” said Matthew Cooper, co-founder of EarnUp. “Our product solves this issue by effectively budgeting for the consumer. We help put money aside as it comes in, giving people peace of mind in knowing the money they need will be there when loan payments need to be made. We give control back to the consumer.”

There are over 200 million Americans with debt and a typical household may have income and expenses hitting their bank accounts over 20 times a month. This financial chaos causes incredible stress for consumers, who may struggle to come up with even the minimum loan payments on time. EarnUp works by automatically putting a few dollars aside for future loan payments whenever consumers can afford it, then sending those payments and making sure they are applied in a way that reduces debt faster.

EarnUp has been bootstrapped to date and the $3 million in seed financing represents the company’s first institutional funding.

Data hints at down rounds, but not wipeout, for marketplace lending, ( TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Comment: This is bad news for entrepreneurs. VCs usually have terms that protect them in a down round.

Private valuations across the lending space, where available, showed marked appreciation in 2014 and 2015. SoFi, for instance, was valued at $3.5 billion as of July, up from about 1.4 billion in early 2015 and $400 million in early 2014.

Those are post-money values, but the appreciation is well in excess of the sums invested. Avant showed a similar rise, with its post-money valuation doubling in less than a year. And Prosper more than doubled in less than a year, hitting a $1.8 billion valuation in April of last year.

Alternative lending currently looks like the reverse of the standard VC model, in which private markets are where one builds a business, and public markets are where one gets a lucrative exit.

That said, while we can expect down rounds near-term, it’s not clear VCs will lose their shirts in marketplace lending forays, particularly those who were mid- or early-stage investors.

High VC ownership levels mean that even a lackluster exit could return all or more of invested capital. Even after LendingClub’s stock plummet, for instance, VC’s post-IPO stakes would be worth more than the $392 in disclosed investments before going public.

You can find the report here if you register.

Nonhousing consumer debt levels are increasing, with student-loan debt leading the charge, according to the Federal Reserve. Student-loan delinquencies more than 90 days past due have risen since late 2011. With the proliferation of postcrisis loans made to students, especially to those attending for-profit colleges with focused specialties, Morningstar Credit Ratings, LLC expects to see challenges in the sector.

Credit Card and Mortgage Delinquencies at Lows Since the crisis, credit-card and mortgage delinquencies have

Since the crisis, credit-card and mortgage delinquencies have improved, with the balance more than 90 days delinquent declining, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. After  seaking at 8.9% in the first quarter 2010, mortgage delinquencies have come down considerably from their highs, resting at 2.1% at the end of the first quarter. Credit-card delinquencies have also dropped, with the current level of 7.6% nearly half the 13.7% recorded in the first quarter of 2010. Low interest rates made it easier for consumers to either refinance or stay current on their debt obligations.

Meanwhile, after little change over the past few years, auto- loan delinquencies have edged higher, as competition among underwriters led to an increase in subprime auto loans. While we expect to see an uptick in auto delinquencies given the larger subprime component, overall auto-loan delinquency rates remain at relatively low levels. If unemployment remains in check, those auto-loan delinquency gains should be within reason, while we expect credit-card and mortgage delinquency rates to remain low.

New data that has been released since publishing solidifies the trend of consumer spending improving after a typical slow start of the year, with 1Q16 GDP growth at 1.1%.  In addition, consumer confidence has strengthened.

Eye on the Road: Student and Auto Loans Bear Watching Consumers are adding to their household debt levels, with student-loan debt leading the way behind mortgages. Postcrisis, students enrolled in for-profit colleges in record numbers, with dreams of a future career. For many, those dreams never materialized, and they were left saddled with heavy student-debt obligations that they were unable to meet. This pool of nonpaying indebted students contributed to the student loan delinquency rate rising steadily since the end of 2012. While the pace of student-loan delinquencies has slowed, Morningstar Credit Ratings views the sector as vulnerable to declines in employment as the delinquency rate remains near record levels despite a generally healthy job market.

Fintech Investment is Exploding — 5 Ways Governments & Ecosystem Builders Can Help, (500 Startups), Rated: AAA

Quarterly financing to VC-backed fintech companies has been growing immensely:

But investment is not flowing freely everywhere.  For example, in 1Q2016, Chinese fintech companies received $2.4 billion in funding (albeit primarily from two mega-deals), while the rest of Asia received only $0.2 billion.  Meanwhile in Europe, deal count increased but the amount of capital invested did not.  Even when the investment flows, the performance often does not.

Fintech’s 3 Ecosystem Challenges
1. Regulatory regimes are often ill-suited for fintech. Regulations in the finance sector are often unclear or highly complex, and regulatory processes and agencies may be slow.

2. Traditional financial institutions may hold down fintech startups, intentionally or unintentionally. Not long ago in the U.S., many banks did not even entertain meetings with or extend invitations to fintech startup founders.

3. Customer preferences may not be ready for certain fintech solutions. Customer acquisition is very difficult in fintech. Banks in the US spend over $500 to acquire a single user, and over time many startups will get there as well.

5 Ways Goverments Can Help

1. Create a “regulatory sandbox” that provides startups the opportunity to test new ideas without immediate threat of regulation.
2. Offer fast and transparent regulatory review of potential new fintech products or services.
3. Create a support system or kit to help fintech startups meet regulatory requirements.
4. Roll out consumer awareness initiatives to increase demand.
5. Encourage traditional financial institutions to invest in or partner with fintech startups — preferably non-exclusively.

The Lending Club Predicament & The Lessons Learned, (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Lending Club’s problems should make the sector reflect on the governance issues that arise from the mixed business models that some crowdfunding platforms have evolved into.

Banks lend their own money and take risk on their balance sheet; hence, they must meet regulatory requirements such as Basel III. Asset managers manage other people’s money and invest on their behalf; hence, they are regulated as financial advisers. Platforms must clearly choose their business model because it has regulatory consequences. It also has an impact on the market valuation of the company. Marketplaces are currently much more highly valued by investors than banks. Even before the scandal, Lending Club’s stock was valued rather like a bank’s stock. Eventually, mixed business models potentially lead to conflicts of interest of the type observed at Lending Club.

Lending Club lost its way a long time before the scandal and the subsequent dismissal of Renaud Laplanche. By progressively marginalizing retail investors and letting investment funds securitize Lending Club’s loans on their own terms, Lending Club de facto surrendered the control of the platform to the very same established finance that P2P Lending was supposed to present an alternative to. This change of course created a detrimental layer of complexity, and potentially of systemic risk, in what was supposed to be a simple and direct relationship between private lenders and borrowers.

Beyond the image problem, the impact of the incidents has been small. European institutional investors are still very much interested in marketplace lending, as can be seen from two recent announcements: a$100 million loan program through Funding Circle by the European Investment Bank and €70 million multiplatform crowdlending fund by Eiffel Investment and French insurers Aviva and AG2R La Mondiale.

Marketplace Lending Securitization Tracker, (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Marketplace lending securitization volume topped $1.7 billion this quarter, up 14.8% from Q1, with cumulative issuance reaching $10.3 billion. YTD issuance of the sector stands at $3.2 billion as compared to $1.8 billion from prior year, a 77% increase. Q2 saw a total of 6 deals: 3 are backed by student loans, 2 by unsecured consumer loans, and 1 by SME loans. SoFi issued its first rated unsecured consumer loan deal and received an industry first ever AAA rating from Moody’s on its recent student loan transaction.

MPL securitizations are moving towards rated and larger transactions. The second quarter was the first to have all deals rated by one or more rating agencies. Further, the growth in average deal size continued, the average deal size grew to $267 million in 2016 as compared to $64 million in 2013.

New issuance and secondary spread tightened by quarter end, a good sign for the industry. Across all segments in MPL, Q2 2016 saw moderate spread compression in senior tranches of newly issued deals and widening in junior tranches as compared to Q1 2016.

Numerous factors, including lending platform rate increases, and spread tightening in both primary and secondary markets, look to improve future deal economics. The increase in rates from platforms increases excess spread and improves the economics of securitization for residual holders. The demand for

The demand for higher standard of due diligence, transparency and analytics will be the norm. With the recent Lending Club headlines, ABS investors are demanding greater transparency and validation to enhance trust.

A total of 6 deals were done in Q2 and spanned several marketplace lenders and categories. Here is the breakdown from Q2 2016:

  • 3 student loan securitizations (Earnest, SoFi, CommonBond)
  • 2 unsecured consumer loan securitizations (Avant, SoFi)
  • 1 SME securitization (OnDeck)

Despite Citi stopping the securitization of Prosper loans, they continue to be the leader in marketplace lending securitizations followed closely by Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse.

Cited as factors for an improving securitization market are increasing platform rates and spread tightening in both primary and secondary markets. A detailed analysis of specific securitizations are outlined in PeerIQ’s report.

Why mobile point of sale (MPOS) Is Gaining Ground in FinTech, (Tech.co), Rated: AAA

Comment: in our market context I would think that lenders would like to acquire/partner/sign up with Point of Sales solutions to extend credit in physical stores.

One such story goes of Swedish payments giant Klarna that recently announced that they were moving beyond its online services into physical stores, which it will accomplish by partnering up with mobile point of sale (MPOS) and e-commerce company Sitoo.

We are approaching a near future where the value chain for payments as we know it will be forever altered and new constellations will surface. More specifically, we expect to see more payment providers partnering up with POS companies to add value to their services and to diversify their position. There’s also a strong possibility that we’re likely to see some of the more aggressive payment providers outright acquiring POS-companies to accelerate growth and control a larger chunk of the value chain.

Royal Bank Of Canada Sold A Lot More LendingClub Corporation Common (LC) Stock, (Fidaily), Rated: A

Royal Bank Of Canada says it sold 35,334 shares last quarter decreasing its holdings in LendingClub Corporation Common by 99.5%. Its investment stood at $1,000 a decrease of 99.7% as of the end of the quarter.

 

Australia

The average RateSetter business loan, (Finder), Rated: AAA

United Kingdom

If Funding Knight went bust how safe is peer-to-peer lending?, (The Telegraph), Rated: AAA

A peer-to-peer website has been rescued after falling into administration, offering a lifeline to 900 savers who faced being unable to get their cash back.

Funding Knight was promising investors returns of up to 12pc for lending cash to small businesses.

Many feared that they would lose their money when the company ran out of cash and went into administration last month.

However, last week  the firm was rescued by GLI Finance, an investment firm, which said savers cash was safe and could be withdrawn at anytime. GLI has also invested a further £1m in the business.

Despite Funding Knight savers being assured that their cash is safe by the new owners, the incident has raised concerns over the safety of peer-to-peer lending.

Any funds they lend through a peer-to- peer website are not covered by the government-backed Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which protects bank savers up to £75,000.

A spokesman for the Peer-to-Peer Association, a trade body of which Funding Knight is not a member, said:

He said: “We have been consistent in calling for, and embracing, regulation of the sector and requires robust adherence to its published operating principles, including the publication of platform loan books in full and clear information on all fees and charges to investors and borrowers.”

“Peer-to-peer lending offers overall a lower risk profile than some other forms of investment with less volatility, but it is not entirely without risk.

“Within the peer-to-peer lending sector, there are a number of different asset classes each with their own risk-return profile.”

 

 

European Union

Why Funding SMEs Within The EU Capital Markets Union Action Plan Is Challenging, (Seeking Alpha), Rated: A

European banks are caught in a conundrum because they still have to clear up their bad loan portfolios, which their US counterparts have largely dealt with. This situation, together with stricter capital requirements, and a challenging policy environment with low or negative interest rates, has led to a double whammy affecting both banks and SMEs. Additionally, credit information is still very fragmented in the EU, as shown by our CFA Institute member survey on the Capital Markets Union from May 2015.

Author:

George Popescu