Thursday May 16 2019, Weekly News Digest

consumer debt

News Comments Today’s main news: iintoo picks the meat off the bones of RealtyShares. Kabbage, Affirm, SoFi among CNBC’s Disruptor 50. LendInvest cuts rates, product fees. Tencent profits, revenues surge. Pleo raises $56M. Prospa closing in on IPO. Paytm offers credit card. Today’s main analysis: LendingTree Personal Loan Offers Report. Is POS trend putting pressure […]

The post Thursday May 16 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

consumer debt

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United States

United Kingdom

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News Summary

United States

This crowdfunding firm just picked the carcass of RealtyShares (The Real Deal), Rated: AAA

New York-based iintoo acquired RealtyShares’ assets, Inman reported. The move boosts the company’s portfolio size to $2.5 billion assets under management from $1 billion, according to the company.

Current and former investors in RealtyShares will be able to access iintoo’s crowdfunding platform, the report said. The deal — terms of which were not disclosed — is a joint venture between iintoo and Texas-based real estate firm RREAF Holdings, LLC, which will manage the investment porftolio.

Meet the 2019 CNBC Disruptor 50 companies (CNBC), Rated: AAA

14. Kabbage

Founders: Rob Frohwein (CEO), Kathryn Petralia (President), Marc Gorlin
Launched: 2009
Headquarters: Atlanta
Funding:
 $489 million
Valuation: $1.2 billion (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
 Artificial intelligence, cloud computing, machine learning
Industry: 
Credit, financial services, lending

26. SoFi

So far, 600,000 members, $30 billion in loans

33. Affirm

Founders: Max Levchin (CEO), Nathan Gettings, Jeff Kaditz
Launched: 2012
Headquarters: San Francisco
Funding:
 $800+ million
Valuation: $3 billion (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
 Machine learning, software-defined security
Industry: 
e-commerce, financial services, fintech

New LendingClub Account Performance – Q1 2019 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

In April 2018, LendingClub provided us with $5,000 to open a brand new account. Since then we have been chronicling the status of the account on a quarterly basis. Below are links to the full series of blog posts in chronological order:

Source: Lend Academy

Personal Loan Offers Report – April 2019 (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

Excellent credit (760+ score): Offered APRs to consumers with a credit score of 760+ averaged 9.23% in April.

  • The average best APR offered to all borrowers with credit scores of 760 or above was 9.23%, an increase of 13 basis points from the prior month and an increase of 188 basis points from the same period one year ago.
  • At $20,810, the average loan amounts offered with the best APRs to all borrowers with a score of 760 was up 0.33% ($69) from last month, and down 9.44% ($1,964) from the same period one year ago.
  • The top 10% of offers, presented to borrowers with the best profiles within this group, had offered APRs of 5.15% on average, and loan amounts of $19,489. A borrower with this APR and loan amount would save $1,565 by consolidating debt with a 10% APR over a three-year term.

Is the Point-of-Sale Trend Putting Pressure on Plastic? (Markets Insider), Rated: AAA

The latest entrant to the credit market, point-of-sale loans, may be shaking up how consumers finance large purchases. According to the TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) Q1 2019 Industry Insights Report, this phenomenon, combined with the popularity of credit card reward programs, may be particularly taxing for the private label card category.

Year-over-Year Origination Growth

Card Type Q4 2018 Q4 2017 Q4 2016 Q4 2015 Q4 2014 Q4 2013
Private Label -5.5% -6.7% -3.8% -0.1% 4.1% 9.2%
 Bankcard 2.9% 0.1% -4.4% 15.1% 7.4% 18.1%

Q1 2019 Credit Card Trends

 

Credit Card Lending Metric

Q1 2019 Q1 2018 Q1 2017 Q1 2016
 Number of Credit Cards 432.8 million 416.5 million  405.8 million 386.4 million
Borrower-Level Delinquency Rate (90+ DPD)  1.89%  1.78%  1.69%  1.50%
Average Debt Per Borrower $5,554 $5,472 $5,332 $5,193
Prior Quarter Originations* 16.5 million 16.0 million 16.0 million 16.7 million
Average New Account Credit Lines* $5,296 $5,283 $5,262 $5,091

*Note: Originations are viewed one quarter in arrears to account for reporting lag.

Growth in Personal Loans Led by Super Prime Consumers

Personal loan balances continued to climb in Q1 2019, growing 19.2% year over year to a new high of $143 billion. Over the past four years total balances have nearly doubled, growing from $72 billion in Q1 2015. Growth is occurring across all risk tiers with originations increasing 9.7% to 5.0 million in Q4 2018.  Super prime borrowers had the largest growth on the origination front with an increase of 22.5% year-over-year, compared to 19.5% over the same period last year.

Q1 2019 Unsecured Personal Loan Trends

 

Personal Loan Metric

Q1 2019 Q1 2018 Q1 2017 Q1 2016
 Total Balances $143 billion $120 billion $102 billion $93 billion
Number of Unsecured Personal Loans  21.4 million 19.2 million 16.9 million 15.4 million
Number of Consumers with Unsecured Personal Loans  19.3 million 17.6 million 15.7 million 14.7 million
 Borrower-Level Delinquency Rate (60+ DPD) 3.47%  3.51% 3.72% 3.59%
 Average Debt Per Borrower $8,618 $7,986 $7,603 $7,544
 Prior Quarter Originations* 5.0 million 4.6 million 3.7 million 4.1 million
Average Balance of New Unsecured Personal Loans* $5,432 $5,044 $5,132 $5,077

*Note: Originations are viewed one quarter in arrears to account for reporting lag.

Credit Card Loan Performance (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

US consumer credit grew by $10.3 Bn in March, at a 3.1% annualized rate, the slowest in nine months. Revolving credit outstanding decreased by $2.18 Bn indicating that consumers ended the quarter more cautious about borrowing. US GDP growth has been propelled by rising consumer spending and a slowdown could put a dampener on growth.

Source: Bloomberg, PeerIQ

30 and 90-day delinquency rates from credit card master trust data

Source: Bloomberg, Bank Credit Card Trust Data, PeerIQ

Declining Credit Enhancement in US MPL ABS is Unwarranted (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Fitch is out with a report on marketplace lending (MPL) asset-backed securities (ABS) stating declining credit enhancement is unwarranted.

Fitch states that credit enhancement (CE) levels of ‘Asf’ category rated US MPL ABS have meaningfully declined since 2017, while asset quality remained relatively steady. As a result, bondholders of more recently issued transactions have less loss protection for the same amount of asset risk.

PeerStreet Reports Accelerating Growth as the Real Estate Platform Tops $ 2 Billion in Property Lending (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

This past March, PeerStreet, a real estate crowdfunding platform, announced that it had topped $2 billion in transactions and over $1 billion in Assets Under Management. Three months early in January, that transaction number stood at $1.7 billion. If that pace holds, PeerStreet should be nearing $3 billion in transactions by the end of the year thus firmly establishing itself as a leading property lending platform. While some sectors of real estate crowdfunding have struggled, PeerStreet does not appear to be one of them.

WealthStone Announces Real Estate Platform (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

WealthStone LLC announces the formation of its new real estate platform.

Typical investments require between $10 million to $100 million in total capitalization per project, including prudent leverage. These assets are expected to provide a total annualized return of 10% to 12%, including an annual cash dividend of 5% to 8% to the equity invested in its projects.

WealthStone aims to allocate approximately $300 million of equity capital for an estimated $700 million of total investments in a variety of real estate ventures during its current deployment phase.

Fintech seeks to help customers avoid overdrafts — with assist from a big bank (American Banker), Rated: A

The savings app provider Digit on Tuesday unveiled an instant withdrawals feature that will let users move money from their Digit account to their bank account instantly. This can help them meet emergencies and avoid incurring overdraft fees and resorting to payday loans.

Startup Launches To Combine All Of Your Credit And Debit Cards Into One Digital Card (Forbes), Rated: A

Forget checking your balance on your mobile phone. Startup Binji wants you to use your debit card instead.

In stealth mode for the past twelve months, the Irvine, California fintech is launching a debit Mastercard that enables consumers to consolidate as many as twenty-four credit cards and debit cards into a single account.

Connecting the Unbanked to A Friendlier Ecosystem (Cryptopolitan), Rated: A

P2P lending platforms like AssetStream are introducing significant improvements in the world of financing, which makes lending and borrowing friendlier and more easily accessible services.

How do We Empower a Growing Number of Small Enterprises? (Cryptopolitan), Rated: A

To be exact, if a company with relatively worse credit score applies for a large loan, let’s say $1 million, they’re more likely to be approved than a smaller, more trustworthy company that applied for a $100,000 on the same terms.

Data privacy, AI, regulation: Small-business lending is changing fast (American Banker), Rated: A

“We used to have 14,000 banks. When I started at the SBA, we were down to about 8- or 9,000 banks. Now we’re down to 5,000 banks.”

Much of the technology that is transforming how small-business lending gets done is coming from fintechs, and Mills sees “the next wave of the fintech evolution” as a partnership between these innovators and banks. “Particularly small banks,” she says.

Listen to the podcast here.

Goldman Sachs execs are opening up about their plans for Marcus (Business Insider), Rated: A

The bank has made more than $5 billion in consumer loans since making the first loan in October 2016. It has also attracted more than $46 billion in deposits.

Talwar’s comments may foreshadow the next phase of Marcus’ growth, which will center on three pillars:

1. Free financial-management software offered by Clarity Money, which was bought by Goldman last year and is likely to be rebranded at some point.

2. Direct-to-consumer products such as loan and deposit products, potentially in addition to wealth-management and insurance products.

3. Strategic partnerships.

Walmart Offers Even.com To Improve Employee Financial Health (Forbes), Rated: A

Although Even.com can let Walmart employees access their wages ahead of payday, that is its least important features, according to its CEO, Jon Schlossberg. For $8 a month — like many employees Walmart pays a share of the fee — it aims to improve financial wellness. It shows  users with a glance at a smart phone how much they have left to spend safely and helps them save for specific goals.

Millennials Are Helping to Sound the Credit Card Alarm (Bloomberg), Rated: A

First, the charge-off rate among card issuers in the first quarter increased to the highest level in almost seven years. The figure is effectively a gauge of “bad debt” — it reflects the percentage of loans companies have concluded will never be repaid. As Bloomberg News’s Jenny Surane noted last month, executives like Capital One Financial Corp. CEO Richard Fairbank chalked that up to the length of this economic expansion causing some negative credit events during the financial crisis to disappear from credit bureau reports, essentially making risky borrowers look stronger.

Crypto Startup Launches Bitcoin Term Deposit Offering 9% Annual Interest (CryptoGlobe), Rated: A

A Delaware-based cryptocurrency startup called BitLeague has recently launched a Bitcoin term deposit product designed to bring mainstream-like services to the crypto economy and attract new users.

The move was announced at Consensus 2019 and, according to a press release, the term deposit will offer 9% annual interest, with a lock-in period of 3 to 36 months.

Human Rights Watch Comment on CFPB Proposal (HRW.org), Rated: A

According to research by the Pew Charitable Trusts, approximately 12 million Americans take out payday loans and 2.5 million take out vehicle-title loans each year.[3] The short-term nature of these loans and their repayment structure drive about 80 percent of borrowers to re-borrow frequently and repeatedly pay fees to refinance their accumulated debt.[4]  The 2017 rule establishes logical baselines for consumer protection, including by requiring lenders to verify that borrowers have the ability to repay the loan and its associated fees prior to issuing a loan.

The vast majority, around 73 percent, of survey respondents reported household incomes under US$40,000, with an average of two children each, and nearly half had taken out a payday, auto title, or both types of short-term loans. People reported taking out loans most often to cover unexpected expenses, but also for their everyday expenses and groceries. More than half of those who took out a loan said they had trouble repaying their loans and associated fees.[8]

Fintech charter delayed following court ruling: Otting (American Banker), Rated: A

In a recent sit-down with American Banker, Otting said he no longer expects to have a fintech firm formally apply for the new special purpose bank charter in the second quarter of the year, after a federal judge ruled May 2 that the New York State Department of Financial Services could continue with its case to invalidate the charter.

Accomplished Human Resources Executive Joins Online Small Business Lender (OnDeck), Rated: B

OnDeck today announced the appointment of Deb Stroff as the company’s Chief People Officer.  Ms. Stroff will be responsible for leading all aspects of people strategy, including overseeing organizational design, total rewards, talent management, recruiting, leadership development and learning, as well as driving the talent agenda forward as OnDeck continues to grow in scale and complexity.

Roostify and Docutech Join Forces to Amplify the Consumer Experience (Roostify), Rated: B

Roostify announced the finalization of its integration with Docutech, a provider of document eSign, eClose and print fulfillment technology.

By joining forces with Docutech, Roostify consumers can now view, complete, and eSign documents, all within the Roostify platform.

CrowdStreet Appoints Award-Winning FinTech Innovator Donna Wells to its Advisory Board (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

CrowdStreet, Inc., a technology provider with an online marketplace for direct equity investment in commercial real estate (CRE), today announced the appointment of financial technology entrepreneur Donna Wells to its Advisory Board. The news comes on the heels of the company passing the $500 million threshold in total online investments with a record number of new individual investors.

Cadre Expands Executive Team, Appointing Sam Mischner as Chief Commercial Officer (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

Cadre announced today that Sam Mischner has joined the company in the role of Chief Commercial Officer. Mischner brings expertise in strategic sales and operational excellence to Cadre, where he will oversee marketing, sales, and operations.

LendingPoint CEO Chosen as Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist Southeast by EY (BusinessWire), Rated: B

LendingPoint is excited to announce that CEO and founder Tom Burnside was selected as a finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year Southeast. The program recognizes entrepreneurs in more than 145 cities around the world who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

United Kingdom

LendInvest cuts rates and product fees (Mortgage Introducer), Rated: AAA

LendInvest has dropped its product fees and lowered interest rates for both of its 5-year fixed rate buy-to-let remortgage products for a limited time.  

The products will be available on standard property cases up to 75% loan-to-value and up to £250,000 in loan size.

The products are offered at an interest rate of 3.60%, with the ICR calculated at the pay rate, or at an interest rate of 3.49% with the ICR calculated at 5%. Both products will have zero product fee.

CapitalRise secures new institutional funding line to write larger loans (AltFi), Rated: A

Specialist property lending platform CapitalRise has secured a £30m institutional funding line from a major financial institutional investor, as it looks to expand its loan book.

The new £30 million facility was received from a UK bank, whose name is undisclosed.

OakNorth completes £30m loan-on-loan facility with Hilltop Credit Partners (Fintech Finance), Rated: A

OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has completed its first finance deal with Hilltop Credit Partners, a specialist funding partner for small and mid-sized residential property developers and housebuilders.

The £30m loan-on-loan facility will be used to support the recently launched real estate development lending platform, led by Paul Oberschneider, who has more than 25 years of experience in property development and asset management. Backed by Round Hill Capital, a global real estate investment firm with a focus on macro-driven residential real estate investment strategies, Hilltop Credit Partners aims to help developers who know their local markets but need access to tailored financing solutions in order to fund their projects.

Crypto lending platform for business launches this month (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

London-based financial services firm Mode has announced its first product – a crypto-backed lending platform for businesses – will launch later this month.

The company is aiming to become the UK’s first fully-regulated digital-asset bank as it works on building an ecosystem of products and services designed to bridge the gap between digital and traditional finance.

The service is aimed at companies which hold Bitcoin and Ethereum – whether through direct purchase, investment, or as payment from clients.

How to Build Your Own Startup with Micro-financing? (Cryptopolitan), Rated: A

A report on This is MONEY shows that more than 50% of UK startups with less than 50 employees were rejected for bank loans. More so, 37% of SMEs are likely to give up their search for loans after their first approach is rejected.

P2P investing not always ‘high-risk’ (FT Adviser), Rated: A

Imagine an asset class where investor returns have been overwhelmingly positive every year since its inception and incredibly stable, hovering around the mid-single digits, without the rollercoaster of the stock market.

OakNorth completes £2.5m loan to multi-site specialist school, Cressey College (fe news), Rated: B

OakNorth completes £2.5m loan to multi-site specialist school, Cressey College, to support the groups growth strategy.

Finastra appoints Mark Miller as Chief Financial Officer (Virtual Strategy), Rated: A

Finastra has announced the appointment of Mark Miller as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) effective May 13, 2019.

Mark is a seasoned finance executive, with nearly 25 years of global technology, finance and operational experience. He has worked at several industry-leading companies including, most recently, Marketo, where he was CFO and travel technology firm Sabre Corporation, where he spent 18 years in a number of leadership and executive roles including CFO.

China

Tencent profit tops forecast as fintech and cloud revenues surge (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Tencent Holdings Ltd posted record quarterly profit on Wednesday, smashing market expectations, as the social media and gaming giant booked a rise in the value of its investments while fintech and cloud revenues helped make up for declines in games.

In the three months ended March, Tencent saw 17% growth in net profit to 27 billion yuan ($3.93 billion), beating the 19.4 billion yuan average of 13 analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv.

Boosting profit was a 46% rise in “net other gains”, such as from investments, to 11.1 billion yuan. Revenue, however, came in just shy of analyst estimates at 85.5 billion yuan, with growth at an all-time low of 16%.

European Union

Business card management platform Pleo raises $ 56m (Fintech Futures), Rated: AAA

Fintech Pleo, the business spending platform based around smart company cards, has raised $56 million in a Series B financing round led by Stripes, a New York-based growth fund.

Pleo will use the funding round to more than triple its headcount, from 120 to 400 employees by the end of 2020 and to accelerate product development as it aims to service the entire purchase process for SMEs across the whole of Europe. This includes adding credit, invoices, mobile payments, a vendor marketplace, VAT reclaim and more.

International

More global banks commit to Finastra’s Fusion LenderComm (Realwire), Rated: A

Finastra has signed three global banks on its Fusion LenderComm platform as part of a coordinated campaign, including BNP Paribas, Natixis and Societe Generale. With NatWest, which joined recently, the ramp up signals a move towards a new era of efficiency in this complex space.

How to capture Gen Z spend (Drapers Online), Rated: A

In a survey, 58% told Klarna that they would pay more than $5 (£3.90) for one-hour delivery – if brands cannot compete, then consumers will take their custom elsewhere.

Leading the way in terms of sustainability, 72% said they would pay more for sustainably sourced products, 55% would abandon a purchase if it was not sustainable, and 83% said it is important that brands prove be “pro-equality”.

Klarna found that most of this generation still frequent the high street, and do so more than any other age group.

Australia

Prospa IPO books close; on track for June 11 listing (AFR), Rated: AAA

Investment banks Macquarie and UBS are set to underwrite Prospa’s $610 million sharemarket float after running a bookbuild to sell the shares.

The brokers closed the bookbuild at 2pm on Wednesday and funds were told the lead managers had secured enough support to raise the $110 million required for Propsa’s initial public offering.

Home loan discount frenzy drives bargains for borrowers (Mozo), Rated: A

Popular online lender Tic:Toc has launched a $1,000 cashback offer for all new customers, while competitor loans.com.au has dropped its variable rate below 3.50% to match Tic:Toc’s ultra low rates. Homestar has a competitive low rate plus fee waiver offer on the market, while Virgin Money is enticing new customers with Velocity rewards points.

India

India’s largest mobile wallet company Paytm now offers a credit card (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

The firm, operated by One97 Communications, today unveiled Paytm First Credit Card with lofty benefits as it races to bulk up its financial offerings. The cards, issued by Citi Bank, will be the first in the country to offer unlimited, one percent cashback on purchases, Paytm claimed in a statement. The company is hoping to rope in about 25 million credit card customers in the coming months.

The penetration of credit cards remains very low in India with under 50 million peoplepossessing one.

SIDBI’s pilot scheme for fintech NBFCs to boost digital lending (Business Line), Rated: A

To give a fillip to digital lending, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has put together a pilot scheme to extend financial assistance of up to 10 crore to new-age fintech non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) engaged in financing small businesses and other income-generating activities.

Asia

P2P lending in Vietnam (krASIA), Rated: AAA

In Vietnam, where the economy is booming, approximately 79% of the population is unbanked. Without a banking account, it is almost impossible for people to access financial services such as insurance and loans. The phenomenon is called “financial exclusion.”

The country has an internet penetration rate of 67%, higher than the region’s average of 58%, and nearly three-quarters of the adult population owns a smartphone.

Vietnam is fertile ground for massive fintech adoption, particularly in peer-to-peer (P2P lending).

P2P Lending to Overcome Financial Exclusion (SME Magazine), Rated: A

The global P2P market is estimated to be worth US$490 billion in 2020. By then, Vietnam’s own P2P market is expected to be US$7.8 billion, almost doubling from US$4.4 billion in 2017 according to estimates by APAC-focused consulting firm Solidiance. Currently, there are over 40 P2P lenders operating within Vietnam; several of which are prominent due to their size and reach.

Innoven Capital pulls in USD 200 million from Temasek and UOB (krASIA), Rated: A

Singapore-headquartered venture debt firm Innoven Capital received an additional USD 200 million in funding from its shareholders – Temasek Holdings and United Overseas Bank (UOB). The firm said it’s doing this in anticipation of the massive potential that Asia’s venture debt space offers.

Canada

Koho Secures $ 42M in Series B Funding (Finsmes), Rated: AAA

Koho, a Toronto, Canada-based fintech company that provides Canadians with a mobile current account and Visa card, closed a $42m Series B funding round.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Business card management platform Pleo raises $56m

The post Thursday May 16 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Monday March 26 2018, Daily News Digest

Monday March 26 2018, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Prosper broadens its capital stack. MarketInvoice nabs 135M GBP from two European banks. Klarna hit by fraudsters. Square intros instant deposits in the UK. Hong Kong-China commuters now have a dual-currency prepaid credit card. Today’s main analysis: PeerIQ’s lending earnings insights. How 6 digital banking startups are challenging the retail banks (A MUST-READ). Today’s thought-provoking […]

Monday March 26 2018, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

Other

News Summary

United States

Prosper brings deeper capital stack with latest ABS (Global Capital), Rated: AAA

This year, Prosper broadened its capital stack for the first time, including a ‘D’ class of bonds on its $647.5m offering, which was priced on Wednesday. Credit Suisse and Jefferies led the deal, with the $387.8m ‘A’ notes pricing at 70bp over euro dollar spot forwards. The $112m ‘B’ notes were priced at 125bp over EDSF, while the $79.45m ‘C’ notes were priced at 220bp over interpolated swaps. The $68.25m ‘D’ notes were priced at 300bp over IS.

In contrast to last year, Prosper also strenghtened the collateral mix on its 2018 offering. According to a presale from Kroll Bond Rating Agency, loans from Prosper’s higher quality credit tiers made up 54% of the deal, compared to 38% on its November 2017 transaction. The proportion of lower quality credit tiers also fell to 46% in this deal, compared to 62% on its last deal.

Do Fintech Lenders Penetrate Areas That Are Underserved by Traditional Banks? (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia), Rated: AAA

Fintech has been playing an increasing role in shaping financial and banking landscapes. In this paper, we use account-level data from LendingClub and Y-14M data reported by U.S. banks with assets over $50 billion to examine whether the fintech lending platform could expand credit access to consumers. We find that LendingClub’s consumer lending activities have penetrated areas that may be underserved by traditional banks, such as in highly concentrated markets and in areas that have fewer bank branches per capita. We also find that the portion of LendingClub loans increases in areas where the local economy is not performing well.

TransUnion (2017) reported that, as of 2017:Q3, the personal unsecured loan market had reached nearly $112 billion.

Credit cards account for the lion’s share of unsecuredconsumer debt ($731 billion in 2017:Q3).3 Interestingly, there is evidence that credit card lending is related to geographic location. Carbo-Valverde and Perez-Saiz (2016) find that the probability of obtaining a credit card or line of credit from a bank increases 60 percent when the bank has a branch within 10 km of the household.

Source: Consumer Finance Institute

Read the full Report here.

Amazon vs Costco, PeerIQ’s Lending Earnings Insights (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Continuing our theme of technology lenders like Amazon branching into providing financial services, the obvious question is who might be next. Main street retailers like Walmart, Target and Costco could be likely candidates.

Source: PeerIQ

PeerIQ’s Lending Earnings Insights

Where are we in the credit cycle? Earnings calls indicate CEOs/CFOs are constructive on the health of the US consumer and see a tax reform as improving consumers’ disposable income.

Credit re-normalization continues across all major lending groups. Credit performance this quarter is mixed. We observe improvements, and record low delinquencies from ONDK, OMF, and FinTechs in particular. LendingClub expects 31 bps lower charge-offs going forward due to tighter credit standards. At Discover – a bellwether for personal loan performance – the net charge off rate jumped 92 bps YOY to 3.62% – the largest increase in several years.

Card issuers are increasing loan loss reserves at a higher rate than loan growth, indicating expectations of higher losses going forward. American Express increased loan loss provisions 33% although loan growth was only 14%.

Source: Discover Investor Relations

Behavior-tracking security tech gaining traction at banks (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Source: American Banker

Banks have started to implement behavioral biometrics more and more as it is seamless for customers and helps to better detect fraud; behavioral biometrics firms like BioCatch has provided banks with the type of security they like, customers cannot see if but it also is harder for criminals to spoof; BioCatch reviews more than 5 billion transactions per month and has about 60 million users in their system; another reason banks love this type of security is the privacy regulations are not as strict, the data is not personally identifiable and is based on type of actions.

 

Americans Are Misguided on Emergency Savings, and It’s Going to Cost Them (Madison), Rated: A

That’s because 38% of college-educated adults think an emergency fund of $5,000 or less is sufficient. That’s the latest from online lender Laurel Road, which also found that women — particularly younger ones — are generally more conservative when it comes to building their safety nets. Specifically, millennial women think people should have an average of $9,727 in an emergency fund, compared to millennial men who think an average of $8,040 works just fine.

The majority of working U.S. adults are nowhere close to having three months’ worth of living expenses in the bank. A good 57% have less than $1,000 in savings, according to data released by GOBankingRates last year, while 39% have no savings at all. If you’re part of either statistic, it means your finances aren’t in great shape — and that you need to make changes immediately.

Lendr Partners with MidCap Financial Trust to Close $ 25 Million Senior Credit Facility (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Lendr, a provider of flexible working capital to small- and medium-sized businesses, specializing in business finance and factoring solutions, announced today the closing of a $25 millionsenior credit facility. MidCap Financial Trust served as the Administrative Agent for the transaction. The deal agreement provides Lendr with increased financing power and the expansion of the facility to $50 million.

First RealFund Raises $ 600,000 of Preferred Equity for Brooklyn Apartment Building (Business Wire), Rated: A

First RealFund (“FRF”) has raised $600,000 of preferred equity financing for an apartment building undergoing a renovation and upgrade in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood.

The Sponsor, Duke Properties, owns a portfolio totaling more than 400 rental units with a geographic focus centered around New York City. “We target value-add properties in emerging neighborhoods and we apply innovative and effective renovation strategies based on our 15+ years of experience,” observed Albert Dweck, CEO of Duke Properties. “Our goal is to increase the value of our buildings while contributing to each neighborhood.”

 

THIS CHART SHOWS THE UNEQUAL STATE OF ACCESS TO FINTECH SERVICES IN AMERICA (Pacific Standard), Rated: A

According to a 2015 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, approximately 7 percent of American households are unbanked (meaning they have no checking or savings account), and an additional 19.9 percent are “underbanked.” The percentages are higher—approximately 50 percent—among both low-income and minority households.

New America Report

While approximately 22 percent of adults in high-poverty African-American communities have used online banking services in the past year, a significantly higher percentage (39 percent) of adults in wealthier black communities have used the technology.

Community bank launches digital account targeting the unbanked (American Banker), Rated: A

AxiomGo is a paperless checking account for customers who want an alternative to prepaid cards and traditional checking, the bank said.

The $560 million-asset Axiom partnered with the fintech firm Malauzai to design and deploy a mobile app that “meets the unique needs of a traditionally underbanked community, providing users a dynamic, bilingual, mobile banking experience,” it said Thursday.

Source FDIC, American banker

The app, which had a soft launch in December, has a Spanish-language option and enables users to open and fund an account and set up direct deposit via a mobile device. Other features include the ability to pay bills by snapping a photo; check deposit; fund transfer and peer-to-peer payments; and access to built-in budgeting and personal finance management tools.

Something I Wish I’d Had 20 Years Ago When I Started: Nontraditional Financing (Entrepreneur), Rated: A

Whether they were unable to secure credit because of bad (or nonexistent) credit history, sluggish cash flow or a lack of collateral, these growth-oriented businesses often find they’re not considered a good fit for traditional loans or lines of credit. There are, however, unexpected outlets available to them. I wish they’d been available to me when I started out 20 years ago.

What Student Loan Borrowers Can Expect from the Fed’s Rate Hike (Lend EDU), Rated: A

The short answer: Some student loan borrowers will pay more interest.

Most student loan borrowers depend on federal student loans, which have had a fixed interest rate since 2006. Although 1.4 million people yearly also depend on private student loans, which can have either a fixed rate or a variable rate that’s connected to either the LIBOR, prime or T-bill rates.

When the Fed increases these variable rates, borrowers with variable-rate loans will likely pay more interest. However, it will depend on the benchmark, according to CNBC.

How to Buy a Car with Bad Credit in 2018 (Auto Credit Express), Rated: B

Tips for Buying a Car with Bad Credit in 2018

With the right plan in place, you can prepare for success when financing a vehicle with poor credit. These tips can start you off on the right foot:

  • Check Your Credit 
  • Set Your Budget  
  • Have a Down Payment – Subprime lenders often require that you have a down payment, but it’s in your best interest to have one anyway.

 

AGORA Announces Partnership With Ignite Consulting Partners (Markets Insider), Rated: B

Agora Data, Inc. (“AGORA”), a Texas-based provider of technology solutions for the financial services industry, announces its partnership with industry leader Ignite Consulting Partners (“Ignite”) to provide increased transparency and security to the consumer finance marketplace through the development of a “Certified Seller Program.”

FIC Network Partners with Civic Technologies (Medium), Rated: B

Factury Inc., the company behind FIC Network, today announced a strategic partnership with Civic Technologies Inc. The partnership brings trusted, secure identity services to the token sales participants identification and enables FIC Network to streamline the identification and KYC process, enhancing the token sales privacy and security.

Arizona Becomes First U.S. State To Launch Regulatory Sandbox For Fintech (Forbes), Rated: B

Arizona has become the first state in the U.S. to adopt a “regulatory sandbox” to shepherd the development of new emerging industries like fintech, blockchain and cryptocurrencies within its borders.

The law will grant regulatory relief for innovators in these sectors who desire to bring new products to market within the state.

 

United Kingdom

MarketInvoice secures £135m for businesses from two European banks (Bdaily News), Rated: AAA

Business finance firm MarketInvoice has today (March 26) announced new agreements with two European banks, boosting its platform by £135m.

The London-based firm struck a deal with Portuguese bank Banco BNI Europa (BNI) to add £90m to its platform and another, with German bank Varengold Bank AG, worth £45m.

Banco BNI Europa initially invested £28.3m in 2016, following it up with £45m in May 2017 and a further £90m this month.

Square brings Instant Deposits to the UK (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Square Co-Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey announced the launch of a new Instant Deposit service for UK businesses at an event at London’s British Library last night.

The new product helps to solve one of the biggest challenges small businesses face: managing cash flow.
With the launch of Instant Deposit, sellers can now click a button in the Square App to get their funds into their bank account in around 20 minutes. All they need to do is link their bank account to their Square account. Square offers competitive, flat fees of 1.75% fee when taking in-person payments, and 2.5% for payments made over the phone, online or via digital invoice. Sellers using Instant Deposit will be charged an additional 1%.

Who wants to be a millionaire? Invest in Zopa’s IFISA for 26 years (Peer2Peer Finance), Rated: AAA

IT WOULD take 26 years to become a Zopa Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) millionaire, the peer-to-peer lender has calculated.

Individuals would need to invest the full ISA allowance – which is £20,000 this tax year – into Zopa’s ISA Plus at today’s target return of 4.6 per cent to hit the million pound mark in 26 years.

This would result in an IFISA total of £1,009,509, with interest earned in that year of £44,395, Zopa said in a blog post on its website on Friday.

Innovations to utilise your tax allowance (City a.m.), Rated: A

These peer-to-peer investments broad- ly fall into three sectors: Consumer, SME and Property Lending.

There are two ways to invest in an IFISA. Customers can either invest manually or defer to the platform’s auto- invest function and let this do the hard work. Notably the ‘big three’ lenders – RateSetter, Funding Circle and Zopa – purely offer auto-invest options.

Another peer-to-peer consumer lender with an IFISA on the market is Lending Works. Launched in February 2017 it offers an annual return of six per cent for five-year loans or 4.5 per cent for three-year loans. This is an auto-invest product with a minimum investment of £10.

Proplend are also offering peer-to-peer investment within an IFISA, secured against first charges on commercial property. Investors can expect returns of between five per cent and 12 per cent.

Lloyds is ‘the largest digital bank in the UK,’ CEO says, and it wants to work with fintech startups (Business Insider), Rated: A

The CEO of Lloyds Bank told a conference in London on Thursday that his company is the biggest digital bank in the UK, eclipsing the wave of digital startups that have sprung up in the last few years.

António Horta Osório told the UK Treasury’s International Finance conference that Lloyds is “the largest digital bank in the UK, with a 22% share of new business.”

From Subprime Star to Losses, U.K.’s Provident Tries to Reboot (Bloomberg), Rated: A

If the FCA does reform the home credit market, its past moves could indicate what’s in store for Provident’s door-to-door lending. The FCA’s caps on payday lenders lowered the average cost of a typical payday loan to 60 pounds from 100 pounds and slashed default rates by a third. Leading player Wonga Group Ltd. saw its sales plunge 64 percent in 2015.

Source: Provident Annual Report

Fintech firms embracing Open Banking (London School Of Business & Finance), Rated: A

A report from professional services and Big Four firm EY has shown that fintech businesses in the UK are embracing Open Banking, with 59% seeing the initiative as an opportunity to reconsider their collaborations. 

The study, which surveyed more than 30 UK fintech businesses, found that more than 80% of businesses are getting ready for Open Banking, whilst 29% said that they are fully prepared for the initiative.

The study showed that businesses have started to prepare for the scheme by increasing the amount of staff they have working on Open Banking-related propositions, with 30% of businesses with 50 to 250 employees saying that they had teams of ten working on the changes.

An alternative moneymaker from property (Money Week), Rated: A

Investors looking for a higher yield from property should consider this bond from LendInvest.

Nearly every recent issue over the last few years has been at a rate of between 4% and 6%, which is well above the rate on offer from the government (via gilts) and investment-grade corporate bonds.

The platform is focused on short term, bridging and development loans rather than buy-to-let loans. In total, its initial £50m fundraising has been invested in 89 different loans (implying an average of around £560,000 per loan), with an average loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of about 57% – so the average loan looks to be backing a project worth around £1m.

Of those 89 loans, nearly all are first charge, and at least 19 (of the 87 first-charge loans) have a LTV ratio of under 50%. That means that if there were a sharp property recession, a good proportion of the book should have plenty of equity in case of default. By contrast, 17 of the loans have a LTV of 70% or more, which might seem a slightly more worrying state of affairs in a downturn – you’d only have an equity buffer of around 25% to 30% at most. It’s also worth noting that 63% of the loans are in the Greater London area, which is arguably more vulnerable in a downturn.

Financial services for good: ‘Data Nations’ team wins 24-hour Deloitte datathon (Future Scot), Rated: B

The overall winner of the second annual Datathon, hosted by business advisory firm Deloitte, was ‘Data Nations’, a team of data experts who developed FinTastic; a digital tool to help people make better financial decisions at key moments in their life.

 

China

Dual-currency prepaid credit card for Hong Kong-China commuters (Fintech Innovations), Rated: AAA

HKT and UnionPay International have launched a new Tap & Go UnionPay Prepaid Card for payments across mainland China.

The new card allows customers to instantaneously convert Hong Kong dollars into yuan using their Tap & Go mobile wallets when they are traveling in mainland China.

Customers can settle payments using their cards in mainland China as well as 168 countries and regions worldwide and for online transactions.

Report: China to Have Dynamic Approach to Fintech Innovation (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

A recent report in ECNS indicates China wants to have a “dynamic approach” regarding Fintech or internet finance. The report was referencing a press conference following the 13th National People’s Congress that was held earlier this month that involved the Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the People’s Bank of China.

In many respects, China is the largest  Fintech market in the world. It has the largest online lending (peer to peer lending) market by far and benefits from a population that is widely connected to the internet by mobile devices. A combination of demand from both consumers and businesses has fueled innovations in finance.

 

European Union

Buy-now-pay-later firm Klarna rings changes following fraud reports (Which?), Rated: AAA

Which? received reports that in some cases thieves had entered other people’s names and addresses then intercepted the package. A few weeks later, the victims received a letter from Klarna chasing up the payment, warning the debt will impact their credit rating.

A spokesperson for Klarna said that it takes fraud seriously, and when this issue arose it immediately looked at ways to combat it. Klarna said that anyone affected by fraud should contact the company to dispute the order, and that this will in not affect a customer’s credit rating.

The Challenger Bank Playbook: How 6 Digital Banking Startups Are Taking On Retail Banking (CBInsights), Rated: AAA

Europe has seen the first cohort of challenger banks (Atom BankTandem BankMonzoStarling Bank, Revolut, and N26) break out, collectively attracting $1B in funding and over 2.5M customers since 2014.

How challenger banks have leveraged regulation

Traditional approach: Atom BankTandem Bank, and Starling Bank prioritized having a bank charter prior to launch and built a suite of services that required a charter, believing it would create a moat around the platform. Atom Bank, for example, launched a savings account and SMB lending after regulatory approval. They also plan to launch current accounts but that roll out has so far been delayed.

Semi-traditional bank: Monzo and Germany-based N26 wanted to get customers onto the platform. To do so, Monzo launched a prepaid card instead of a full account product.

Monzo was going through a period of rapid growth, adding a reported 60K users a month when the company was granted a charter. In December 2017, they stopped adding new customers and announced plans to focus on transitioning the 500K existing customers off of prepaid cards and onto Monzo’s own current accounts.

As of February 2018, the company has a waitlist for new current account registrations, which means it’s missing out on roughly 180K potential new customers (at the peak growth rate of 60K per month) as it focuses on transitioning its existing customers off of the prepaid cards.

Fast-lane approach: Revolut challenged the conventional go-to market strategy by applying for an easier-to-acquire e-money license and targeting currency exchange rather than current accounts. Revolut initially focused on frequent travelers, a niche they believed was underserved. It built a digital currency exchange app, which allowed people to exchange money more frequently across countries without establishing multiple bank accounts.

Source CBInsights
Source CB Insights

Mobile adoption has driven uptake

Source: CB Insights

 

Fintech lending platform Loanboox eyes French expansion (Swiss Info), Rated: A

Award-winning Swiss fintech firm Loanboox is planning further expansion into Europe having obtained a foothold in Germany. The digital portal for matching institutions with investors plans a move into France and is also looking at other European markets.

Since its inception, Loanboox has now played a part in connecting around 1,000 clients and facilitating requests of some CHF9 billion ($9.5 billion) in public sector loan deals.

International

Millennials Are Driving One Of The Biggest Trends In Wealth Tech (CBInsights), Rated: AAA

Millennial investors stand to inherit $30T of potential assets from baby boomers. To attract and retain this next-generation of investors, advisors need to offer sustainability, clean energy, and social impact investing strategies.

Source: CBInsights

Why now?

There are massive demographic shifts underway in wealth management. Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce and 2x more likely than the average investor to make a sustainable investment.

Social issues like climate change and gun-control are top of mind for the next-generation, and 75% of millennial investors believe their investments can influence change, according to one survey conducted by Morgan Stanley.

Source: CB Insights

Further, impact investing is a growing part of the wealth management market. In 2016, it’s estimated that sustainable investment assets grew to $22.89T globally, up 25% from 2014 according to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA).

Source: CB Insider

Australia and UK set up FinTech Bridge to deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies (OpenGovAsia), Rated: A

The Australian Treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, and UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, signed an agreement in London on 22 March, 2018 to establish a FinTech bridge.

The UK-Australia FinTech Bridge will deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies in the two countries. It will also support improved access for Australian FinTech firms to the UK market.

The FinTech Bridge includes collaboration between Australian and UK governments to identify emerging FinTech trends and policy issues, enabling better policy positions.

How Can Fintech Boost the Micro-loan Scene? (Finextra), Rated: A

While the citizens of Norway, Finland, and Denmark all have at least one bank account, there are developing countries like the Central African Republic, Niger, and Madagascar, where the percentage of the unbanked population rises well above 85%. The poverty rates in such places are quite high, and is part of a vicious circle, since the inability to get a loan or to make deposits keeps people living day to day. The only available financial resource is social borrowing from friends and family. Yet, rapid technological advancements could turn this situation around.

Micro-financial institutions (MFIs) have developed a particular product, the microcredit, as a way to grant individuals the necessary money to expand a small business or to cover some surging costs, like healthcare.

Yet, the current model for these products is far from efficient, with high operational fees which translate to interest rates around 35-40%. It has even been said that micro-loans promote poverty.

 

WHERE DO CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICERS COME FROM? (AllAboutAlpha), Rated: A

PwC forecasts a near doubling in global AUM over nine years, from $84.9 trillion in 2016 to $145.4 trillion in 2025, and predicts the 

Alternative credit scoring partnerships help fintech companies lend better (Business Standard), Rated: A

Financial technology have partnered with scoring to enable faster and more efficient lending. Online lending marketplaces and said their partnerships with information and CIBIL, respectively, to offer free reports to customers, made their lending more efficient.

The entire process is digitized to reduce the cost of operations and to bring speed and scale in the lending process”, said Rajiv Raj, Co-founder and director, is able to provide alternate data using technology we have not developed so far. We can use this data to further refine our existing scoring model,” said RBL Bank’s Toor.

Both and said that alternate data is most beneficial for assesement of new – to-customers for whom centralized or structured data is not available.

Cerberus Capital taps Nicastro as senior adviser (The PE Hub), Rated: B

Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. and its affiliates (“Cerberus”), a global leader in alternative investing, announced today that Roberto Nicastro has become a Senior Advisor to the firm. In this role, Mr. Nicastro will consult with Cerberus as it continues its focus on investment opportunities and strategic partnerships in the European financial services sector.

Australia

Why seller experience is the new battleground in today’s competitive gig economy (Australian Anthill), Rated: A

The battle between taxis and ride-sharing services might be old news already, but today, peer-to-peer lending platforms and other emerging tech-driven financial products are continuing to ruffle the feathers of our stalwart financial institutions.

According to studies, the gig economy could contribute around $2.7 trillion to global GDP by 2025.

India

Top PayU India execs invest in blockchain startup Nuo Bank (VCCircle), Rated: AAA

Mumbai-based blockchain startup Nuo Bank has raised $250,000 (Rs 1.6 crore) from payment gateway firm PayU India’s chief executive officer Amrish Rau and managing director Jitendra Gupta, a top executive has told VCCircle.

Savings are stored on the blockchain and instead of interest on savings, customers gets a virtual share in the revenue of the bank. Nuo Bank will offer around 20% of its 1 billion tokens – Nuo Coins – to customers.

These contracts will stipulate that up to 25% of the bank’s revenue should be reserved for these tokens.

With KYC norms kicking in, mobile wallet customers using gift cards to get around it (Money Control), Rated: A

Even as mobile wallets companies are struggling to ensure that the customers comply with KYC norms in order to load money to their wallets, customers are able to circumvent the process with the use of digital gift cards.

For instance, customers can add money to their Amazon Pay wallet by purchasing gift cards of Amazon. The gift card offers a code that once added to the wallet loads the money.

Users of prepaid payment instruments (PPI) such as mobile wallets were asked to complete the KYC requirements by February 28 by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The regulation bars customers from loading money into their wallets if they haven’t complied with the KYC norms. It also restricts them from carrying out remittance-based transactions. They will also not be allowed to transfer the cash in the wallet to their bank accounts.

SmartOwner: FinTech firm pioneering real-estate crowdfunding in India (Realty Fact), Rated: A

SmartOwner, India’s first and largest online marketplace for real estate investors, aims to make the process of investing in real estate a seamless and streamlined process. It was founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs having a considerable amount of experience in the technology and real-estate sectors. In fact, SmartOwner wants to make property investing as simple as investing in Mutual Funds and the Stock Market.

Asia

Long Blockchain Corp. Announces Minority Investment in TSLC with a Strategic Ownership Position in CASHe (Nasdaq), Rated: A

Long Blockchain Corp. (Nasdaq: LBCC) (the “Company” or “Long Blockchain”) today announced that it has closed on a strategic investment in TSLC Pte Ltd. (“TSLC”). TSLC is the parent company of CASHe, a provider of digital money and short-term financial products to young millennials across India.

Latin America

Watchdog Eyes Brazil’s Credit Card Industry On Nubank Complaint (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

In Brazil, the antitrust watchdog, Cade, is looking into the credit card industry, with an eye on possible anticompetitive practices.

The investigation comes, Reuters reports, after a complaint by Nubank, a Goldman Sachs-funded FinTech. The company offers credit cards and checking accounts to 3 million people in Brazil. Nubank also has approval in place to become a bank. Earlier this month, the company raised $150 million in a financing round that was led by DST Global Investment Partners. Last year, the company was granted a credit line of 455 million reais, or about $137.71 million.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor