- Today’s main news: Prosper to introduce HELOCs. Affirm to rebrand, get into travel. Elevate Credit misses earnings estimates. Zopa says parents borrow from children’s piggy banks. Revolut wants to raise $500M through SoftBank. LexinFintech shares jump 8% on 363% earnings increase. Fintonic, Amazon partner in Spain.
- Today’s main analysis: Are we in an online lending bubble?
- Today’s thought-provoking articles: Consumers would leave Amazon for smaller companies. How Affirm is rebranding. Tencent reboots profits. Nigeria’s mobile banking revolution.
- Prosper to introduce HELOCs. Is this a jab at Figure Technologies? I can’t help but think it is.
- Consumers would leave Amazon for smaller companies. I’ll believe it when I see it.
- Affirm to rebrand. This is probably a smart move. Affirm wants its name known. It won’t become a household name, like PayPal, sitting under the hood of everyone else’s vehicle. The idea is to move the brand front and center and let consumers know who is powering their financing at the point of sale.
- How Affirm is rebranding. A Bloomberg video interview.
- Max Levchin on cryptocurrencies. This is interesting because cryptocurrencies could become a big part of Affirm’s business, if only Affirm could figure out how to use them for financing payments.
- Elevate Credit releases earnings results. Down to 10 cents in Q3, missing is estimate by 13 cents, but why?
- Are we in an online lending bubble? A great analysis from Tearsheet, and a question that needs an answer. Don’t miss this one.
- Fundrise gets property near Amazon headquarters in DC.
- Why RealtyShares is struggling.
- Amalgamated Bank joins Insikt social bond securitization.
- What if a recession comes in 2020?
- CrowdOut funds more “eatertainment.“
- Figure intros smart home alternative for Baby Boomers.
- Lenders extend more loans to subprime consumers.
- Are online lenders discriminating against minorities?
- AI-driven lead distribution for mortgage lending.
- White Oak Healthcare Finance finances BM Eagle’s 17 SNF portfolio.
- Parents are borrowing from kiddies’ piggy banks.
- Revolut talking with SoftBank about $500 million raise.
- Monzo to offer cash deposits with PayPoint.
- Starling Bank 10 million GBP funding will help it compete with Monzo.
- Why data scientists solve irrelevant problems.
- Lending Works appoints new board members.
- MarketInvoice, Barclays partner.
- LexinFintech shares jump 8% on 363% earnings jump. Congratulations!
- Tencent reboots profits.
- China Rapid Finance to announce Q3 results next week.
- Why online lending crisis makes bank interest liberalization important.
- Cash-strapped online lenders ordered to repay investors.
- Fintonic partners with Amazon.
- Mintos to provide debit cards, IBAN accounts to investors.
- Crowdlending campaign raises 1.5 million euros.
- Bonify raises funding for free credit scores and financial advice.
- Credimi gets 10 million euros in funding.
- Creditshelf names new CFO.
- iwoca appoints COO.
- Prodigy launches refinance product for international working graduates.
- Serial entrepreneur sees edge in challenger banks.
- Nexo considers Ripple-backed crypto loans.
- MSTS offers credit as a service for SMBs.
- Australia: Demands soars for financial advice.
- Vietnam: Securities law sparks concerns.
- Nigeria: The mobile banking revolution.
- Australia: Big banks welcome government competition.
- Asia: Standard Chartered tackles digital disruption.
- Russia: MFC Zaymer joins robo.cash.
- Australia: Small business cheer $2 billion end to funding drought.
- Australia: Pipe Alderman adds financial services team.
- United States
- Prosper Announces HELOCs, Releases Q3 2018 Earnings (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA
- Funding Circle US: Consumers will eschew Amazon to support small firms (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA
- PayPal co-founder’s installments firm, Affirm, rebrands, gets into travel (Payments Source) Rated: AAA
- How PayPal Co-Founder Levchin’s Installments Firm Is Rebranding (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA
- Levchin Says Crypto Not a Good Currency But He Likes the Tech (Bloomberg) Rated: A
- Elevate Credit (ELVT) Releases Earnings Results, Misses Estimates By $0.23 EPS (Fairfield Current) Rated: AAA
- Amazon: Fundrise Allows You to Invest in Property Near Amazon’s DC Headquarters with New eFund (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A
- RealtyShares starting to crumble after lack of venture capital (Born2Invest) Rated: A
- Are we in an online lending bubble? (Tearsheet) Rated: AAA
- Amalgamated Bank joins $ 26 million closing of Insikt social bond securitization (Impact Alpha) Rated: A
- If Recession Comes in 2020, What Will Innovation Look Like? (Bank Innovation) Rated: A
- CrowdOut Funds More “Eatertainment” (Business Wire) Rated: A
- Sell Your House Without Making a Move – Figure Introduces a Smart Alternative for Baby Boomers to Secure Their Retirement (Corp Magazine) Rated: A
- Lenders Extending More Loans to Subprime Consumers as Credit Market Continues to Exhibit Signs of Strength (AP News) Rated: A
- Are you a minority borrower? You might want to think twice about using an online lender. (The Washington Post) Rated: A
- AI-Driven Lead Distribution for Mortgage Lending Helps Loan Officers Deliver Faster Results (Verb Factory Email) Rated: A
- White Oak Healthcare Finance Provides $ 190 Million Financing for BM Eagle’s 17 SNF Portfolio (Business Wire) Rated: B
- United Kingdom
- Zopa: Parents borrowing from children’s piggy banks (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA
- Revolut is in talks with Softbank to raise $ 500 million (Business Insider) Rated: AAA
- Monzo to offer cash deposits via PayPoint (FinExtra) Rated: A
- Starling Bank’s £10m funding helps it make a stand to Monzo (Fintech Future) Rated: A
- Why data scientists solve irrelevant problems (Bobs Guide) Rated: A
- Lending Works Appoints Three New Board Members, Targets P2P Growth (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B
- Barclays partners with MarketInvoice (The MarketInvoice Blog) Rated: B
- Shares of LexinFintech Jump 8% In Early Trading as Earnings Soar 363% (Capital Watch) Rated: AAA
- Tencent reboots profits as growth picks up beyond games (Nikkei Asian Review) Rated: AAA
- China Rapid Finance to Announce Third Quarter 2018 Financial Results on November 20, 2018 (Acrofan) Rated: A
- Why China’s online lending crisis makes liberalisation of bank interest rates more urgent (South China Morning Post) Rated: A
- Cash-Strapped Online Lenders Ordered to Repay Investors (Caixin Global) Rated: A
- European Union
- Fintonic Links Up with Amazon (Finovate) Rated: AAA
- Mintos to Provide Debit Cards and IBAN Accounts to Investors (P2P Banking) Rated: AAA
- Crowdlending campaign raises total of €1.5 million for the first time (The Brussels Times) Rated: A
- Berlin-based fintech startup Bonify raises funding to provide free credit scores and financial advice (EU Startups) Rated: A
- Italian lendtech Credimi feeling dreamy with €10m funding (Fintech Futures) Rated: A
- SME Online Lender Creditshelf Names Fabian Brügmann New CFO (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B
- Small Business Lender iwoca Appoints Seema Desai as COO (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B
- Prodigy Finance Launches Refinance Product for International Working Graduates Looking to Reduce Financial Costs (PR Newswire) Rated: A
- The edge a serial entrepreneur sees in challenger banks (American Banker) Rated: A
- The Ripple Effect: Crypto Backed Lending Platform Exploring XRP-Powered xRapid (The Daily Hodl) Rated: A
- MSTS Makes B2B Commerce Effortless for SMBs with Credit as a Service (Globe Newswire) Rated: B
- Advice demand soaring in Australia despite trust issues (International Investment) Rated: AAA
- Big banks welcome government competition for small end of town (Sidney Morning Herald) Rated: A
- Small business cheer $ 2b end to funding drought (Australian Financial Review) Rated: A
- Piper Alderman brings in financial services team (Australasian Lawyer) Rated: B
- New securities law sparks concerns from expert (Vietnam News) Rated: AAA
- How Standard Chartered Bank is tackling digital disruption (Tech in Asia) Rated: A
- Russian Online Lender MFC Zaymer Joins Robo.cash (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA
- Nigeria dials up mobile banking revolution (Financial Times) Rated: AAA
Prosper Announces HELOCs, Releases Q3 2018 Earnings (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA
Prosper noted that according to a 2017 TransUnion Study an estimated 10 million consumers will take out HELOCs between 2018 and 2022 which would be more than double the number originated from 2012-2016.
The new HELOC product will launch officially in early 2019.
Prosper also reported their Q3 2018 results today. Originations were $640.3 million, down 22% over the prior year period. Prosper attributed the decrease to credit tightening as well as the increase of interest rates to borrowers. The company has now originated $13.4 billion since inception. Net revenues also decreased as a result of decreased originations, with net revenue falling from $28.8 million in Q3 2017 to 20.6 million in Q3 2018. Below is a summary of Prosper’s other financial highlights that are availing in the company’s 10-Q.
Funding Circle US: Consumers will eschew Amazon to support small firms (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA
FUNDING Circle US has found that the majority of US consumers still make the effort to shop at independent small businesses and would be willing to pay more for the same item than it costs at e-commerce giant Amazon.
The peer-to-peer business lender, which recently floated on the London Stock Exchange, published the results of a survey on US consumers’ support for small businesses.
It found that 77 per cent of 2,171 US adults surveyed said they were willing to pay more for items at small businesses in order to keep money within their communities and support local jobs.
60 per cent of respondents said they would pay a 10 per cent premium or more on Amazon prices.
PayPal co-founder’s installments firm, Affirm, rebrands, gets into travel (Payments Source) Rated: AAA
PayPal co-founder Max Levchin has built a $1.8 billion business offering installment plans to American consumers. The problem: most shoppers have no idea they’re using his company, Affirm, when they choose how to pay at checkout.
Now, in an effort to make its name synonymous with online installment plans, Affirm is rebranding. Besides a new logo, the firm will list all the retailers it works with on its website. Affirm will also focus on travel, letting consumers pay for vacations over time.
How PayPal Co-Founder Levchin’s Installments Firm Is Rebranding (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA
Levchin Says Crypto Not a Good Currency But He Likes the Tech (Bloomberg) Rated: A
Elevate Credit (ELVT) Releases Earnings Results, Misses Estimates By
Elevate Credit (ELVT) Releases Earnings Results, Misses Estimates By $0.23 EPS (Fairfield Current) Rated: AAA.23 EPS (Fairfield Current) Rated: AAA
Elevate Credit (NYSE:ELVT) announced its earnings results on Monday, October 29th. The company reported ($0.10) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.13 by ($0.23), MarketWatch Earnings reports. Elevate Credit had a positive return on equity of 12.69% and a negative net margin of 0.49%. The business had revenue of $201.48 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $201.71 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.01 EPS. Elevate Credit’s quarterly revenue was up 16.6% on a year-over-year basis. Elevate Credit updated its FY18 guidance to $0.23-0.32 EPS.
Amazon: Fundrise Allows You to Invest in Property Near Amazon’s DC Headquarters with New eFund (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A
Real estate investment platform Fundrise says it has been quietly accumulating property near the area Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has just announced they will be establishing a new headquarters. Amazon’s east coast headquarters will create a huge economic impact for the DC/Northern Virginia market, not to mention increased demand for housing and apartments. Fundrise says it has invested in 30 different buildings in expectation of rising demand. Fundrise is offering a new investment fund for this purpose: HQ2 DC eFund.
According to Fundrise, the fund already features residential properties – ranging from houses, townhomes and condominiums – with plans to invest as much as $50 million in the area. This eFund, issued under Reg A+, allows any investor the opportunity to capitalize on expected local real estate growth in the wake of Amazon’s announcement.
RealtyShares starting to crumble after lack of venture capital (Born2Invest) Rated: A
The website started out strong. From 2014 to 2016, venture capital was pouring in from crowdfunding firms. However, investors became less interested in the portal as the investment minimum started to ramp up steadily. Company founder Nav Athwal, who had left the company’s board earlier this year, is still a minority shareholder. He also has no idea what happened to the company he helped found.
He, however, has a few words for startups. “Don’t let your burn rates get really large, strive for cash-efficiency or profitability sooner rather than later. Build a resilient business that can continue growing, regardless of where the venture capital markets are.” He adds that a startup should understand its investors and its growth limit as well.
Are we in an online lending bubble? (Tearsheet) Rated: AAA
We’re in an interesting time in online lending. After years of fits and starts and boatloads of money flowing into the sector, record originations are being set all over the industry. We recently explored online lending trends going into 2019 and what participants in the sector are expecting in the near future.
Both consumer and business lenders are tracking strongly:
While personal loans have surged to a record as the fastest-growing U.S. consumer-lending category, according to data from credit bureau TransUnion, it’s fintech firms that are driving a lot of that growth.
Amalgamated Bank joins $ 26 million closing of Insikt social bond securitization (Impact Alpha) Rated: A
The fintech firm packages up the loans the into securities, which it then issues as bonds to financial institutions, foundations and private investors. Its latest $26 million securitizationattracted Amalgamated Bank, a B-corp-certified commercial bank that went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange in June.
The issuance marks Insikt’s fifth securitization this year, backed by 21,000 loans. INSIKT’s total securitization volume across 16 issuances reached $273 million.
If Recession Comes in 2020, What Will Innovation Look Like? (Bank Innovation) Rated: A
JPMorgan Chase last month predicted a 60% chance of recession by 2020, and that increases to an 80% chance by 2021. It’s not clear how traumatic an event it would be for the U.S. economy, but considering all the new players that have jumped onto the financial scene since the last downturn a decade ago.
CrowdOut Funds More “Eatertainment” (Business Wire) Rated: A
CrowdOut Capital announced the completion of a $20 million facility to Punch Bowl Social, the L Catterton–backed restaurant group that is defining the evolving category of experiential dining. The proceeds will enable the leader in the “eatertainment movement” to open multiple new locations throughout the U.S. This marks the second time Punch Bowl Social has worked with CrowdOut, choosing its flexible debt over traditional loans from financial institutions.
Sell Your House Without Making a Move – Figure Introduces a Smart Alternative for Baby Boomers to Secure Their Retirement (Corp Magazine) Rated: A
Figure Technologies, Inc. (Figure), a FinTech company creating innovative products and tools that empower homeowners to improve their finances, announced today Figure Home Advantage, a smart sell-and-leaseback alternative to reverse mortgages for retirees and a new way for Baby Boomers to lock in record housing prices as they plan their retirement. With Figure Home Advantage, homeowners convert their home equity into cash they can put to use now while continuing to enjoy life at home without the ongoing burden of property taxes, repairs, and maintenance.
Roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 years old in the U.S. every day. A study by the National Conference of State Legislators and AARP found that 90 percent of people over age 65 want to stay in their home for as long as absolutely possible. Yet, most older Americans don’t have enough savings to cover retirement expenses or realize the lifestyle they’d imagined. According to a survey by the Insured Research Institute (IRI), only 25 percent of Baby Boomers believe they will have enough money in retirement.
Lenders Extending More Loans to Subprime Consumers as Credit Market Continues to Exhibit Signs of Strength (AP News) Rated: A
Auto loans, credit cards and personal loans all saw year-over-year growth in subprime originations this past quarter, a sign that lenders are returning to this space following several consecutive quarters of declining originations. The latest TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) Industry Insights Report includes insights into consumer credit trends around personal loans, auto loans, credit cards and mortgage loans through the third quarter of 2018.
TransUnion’s report found that origination growth in the subprime risk tier grew at a significant rate across auto, personal loans and credit cards following declines in 2017. Subprime originations in the personal loan category grew 28% between Q2 2017 and Q2 2018 (originations are viewed one quarter in arrears to account for reporting lag), compared to a yearly decline of 7.1% over the prior year. Auto showcased a similar trend, as independent lenders began issuing new loans to subprime consumers following industry pullback in 2016 and 2017. Subprime auto originations increased 7.3% year-over-year, after falling 7.8% year-over-year in Q2 2017.
Are you a minority borrower? You might want to think twice about using an online lender. (The Washington Post) Rated: A
It’s not just bank loan officers with racial biases who discriminate against black and Latino borrowers. Computer algorithms do, too.
That is the groundbreaking conclusion of University of California at Berkeley researchers who found that algorithmic credit scoring using big data is no better than humans at evening the playing field when it comes to determining home mortgage interest rates.
Both online and human lenders earn 11 to 17 percent higher profits off minority borrowers by charging African Americans and Latinos steeper rates, the study said. Black and Latino consumers pay 5.6 to 8.6 basis points higher interest on home purchase loans than their white or Asian counterparts with similar credit profiles — no matter whether they obtained their loans through a face-to-face process or online. The effect is smaller when it comes to refinancing, with black and Latino borrowers paying 3 basis points more.
Read the full report here.
AI-Driven Lead Distribution for Mortgage Lending Helps Loan Officers Deliver Faster Results (Verb Factory Email) Rated: A
ProPair, an innovative mortgage-industry technology start-up based in Silicon Valley, today launched an AI-based lead distribution solution that eliminates the uncertainty of the lead assignment process while optimizing results and ensuring fairness in the assignment process. Using artificial intelligence to correlate lead data with information about individual loan officers, ProPair facilitates the lead assignment process to allow lenders to distribute leads to maximize the performance of the entire loan team.
White Oak Healthcare Finance Provides $ 190 Million Financing for BM Eagle’s 17 SNF Portfolio (Business Wire) Rated: B
White Oak Healthcare Finance, LLC (“White Oak”), today announced it acted as administrative agent and lead lender on the funding of a $190 million senior credit facility of 17 skilled nursing facilities for BM Eagle Holdings, LLC (“BM Eagle”), a joint venture led by affiliates of BlueMountain Capital Management, LLC (“BlueMountain”). The facilities are located in Northern California and New England.
Zopa: Parents borrowing from children’s piggy banks (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA
ZOPA research has found that two fifths of parents have admitted to raiding their children’s piggy banks to borrow cash.
Parents surveyed by the peer-to-peer consumer lender confessed to borrowing money from their kids with a fifth taking over £250 a year.
However, 80 per cent of parents said they will also be giving their children cash as a Christmas present this year.
Nearly a quarter of children can look forward to a gift of up to £100, whilst a lucky three per cent will be receiving more than £500 in cash.
Revolut is in talks with Softbank to raise $ 500 million (Business Insider) Rated: AAA
UK neobank Revolut is currently in talks with the Softbank fund, which is worth $92 billion, for its next funding round, according to City AM. The talks are still early on, but the funding round could be as high as $500 million. It’s not clear whether existing investors, including Draper Esprit and Index Ventures, would participate in the next round.
Monzo to offer cash deposits via PayPoint (FinExtra) Rated: A
PayPoint has announced today that challenger bank, Monzo, has chosen PayPoint’s cash payments solution for its current account holders. Beginning Wednesday 21 November, customers will be able to deposit up to £300 cash directly into their Monzo account in a single transaction at any of PayPoint’s 28,000 convenience stores nationwide.
Starling Bank’s £10m funding helps it make a stand to Monzo (Fintech Future) Rated: A
Starling Bank, the mobile-only bank, has secured £10 million of new capital from Bahamas-based hedge fund manager Harald McPike.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the funding is in preparation for a £80 million round to keep up, or perhaps surpass, other mobile challengers like Monzo, which recently raised £85 millionto reach a £1.5 billion valuation, and getting over 1.1 million customers.
Why data scientists solve irrelevant problems (Bobs Guide) Rated: A
In today’s challenging financial market businesses need to utilize every available resource and technology to reduce risk when processing payments and credit applications. One area in particular that is often talked about, but still either under or incorrectly utilized, is data science.
While many financial institutions are working towards implementing data science within their risk decisioning processes many are still working on creating an environment and culture that allows data scientists to be fully effective.
In a recent webinar Ken Schultz, VP of data science at Elevate Credit – better known under their brand Sunny in the UK -discussed the benefits data science can bring to a financial services organization, including the opportunity to increase accuracy, expand your market, and reduce fraud, all of which can be used to drive business growth.
Lending Works Appoints Three New Board Members, Targets P2P Growth (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B
Peer to peer lender Lending Works has selected three new members for their Board of Directors. The online lender has appointed; Simon Waugh, former Chairman of CMC Markets, Deputy CEO of British Gas, Paul Noble, CEO of Honeycomb Finance, a Pollen Street Capital business, and Melanie Goward, Investment Director of Maven Capital Partners.
Barclays partners with MarketInvoice (The MarketInvoice Blog) Rated: B
MarketInvoice and Barclays today announced a partnership deal that is set to transform the way small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK manage cash flow and accelerate growth.
The bank has committed to a significant minority stake in MarketInvoice to give Barclays’ SME clients seamless access to innovative forms of finance. The new partnership is a key part of Barclays’ plans to invest in new business models for growth, and MarketInvoice’s ambition to broaden its reach across the UK.
Shares of LexinFintech Jump 8% In Early Trading as Earnings Soar 363% (Capital Watch) Rated: AAA
LexinFintech Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: LX) saw its shares jump more than 8 percent in early trading Wednesday after the company, an online peer-to-peer lending platform in China, posted better-than-expected earnings for the third quarter with net income increasing more than fourfold.
Despite recent market uncertainty, the Shenzhen-based lender said its operating revenue for the third three months increased more than 13 percent year-over-year to $246.7 million thanks to a 404 percent jump in income from its loan facilitation and servicing fees.
Net income for the quarter was $46 million, or 25 cents per fully diluted ADS, up from $9.93 million a year ago.
Tencent reboots profits as growth picks up beyond games (Nikkei Asian Review) Rated: AAA
China’s Tencent Holdings handed investors a much-needed profit recovery in the third quarter as revenue rose beyond online games, but the company warned that stricter regulation by Beijing on online advertising could sap growth.
The social media and online game group, which has lost about 40% of its market value since March as China has stalled approval of new games, beat market forecasts thanks to contributions from ads and cloud computing.
China Rapid Finance to Announce Third Quarter 2018 Financial Results on November 20, 2018 (Acrofan) Rated: A
China Rapid Finance Limited (“China Rapid Finance” or the “Company”) (NYSE: XRF), operator of one of China’s largest consumer lending marketplaces, today announced that it plans to release its third quarter 2018 financial results on Tuesday, November 20, 2018, after U.S. market closes.
China Rapid Finance’s management will host an earnings conference call at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on November 20, 2018, (9:00 a.m. Beijing/Hong Kong Time on November 21, 2018).
Why China’s online lending crisis makes liberalisation of bank interest rates more urgent (South China Morning Post) Rated: A
How big is China’s fintech sector? I would say, Britain’s peer-to-peer (P2P) lender Funding Circle plus payday lender Wonga times 100. In addition to giants such as Alibaba’s Ant Financial, Pingan’s Lufax and Tencent’s WeBank, a dozen mid-size operators have gone public in the US and Hong Kong in the past 18 months alone. There are also 40 to 50 serious players that are waiting in the wings to go public. However, as the year-long official clampdown has revealed, there are far too many also-ran operators and Ponzi schemes about.
In just five to six years, fintech has surged to levels over US$200 billion in terms of total assets.
Cash-Strapped Online Lenders Ordered to Repay Investors (Caixin Global) Rated: A
Some local governments have ordered cash-strapped peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms to begin repaying their investors to head off growing turmoil in the industry.
Hangzhou-based P2P lending platform Yucaiyuan recently announced that the company “did not meet regulatory requirements and was ordered to start repaying (investors),” according to a post on the lender’s website (link in Chinese). The firm will have to repay the principal and interest on all outstanding loans until investors are fully repaid. It has 12 months to do so.
Regulators in the eastern city want to rein in what had once been runaway growth in the industry. They plan to do this by clearing out small and midsize platforms one step at a time, a P2P lender told Caixin.
Fintonic Links Up with Amazon (Finovate) Rated: AAA
Personal finance app Fintonic announced today it will collaborate with Amazon in Spain. Starting next week, Fintonic customers in Spain will be able to finance their Amazon.es purchases ranging from $225 to $1,100 (€200 to €1,000) at a rate of 0% interest for up to four months.
Mintos to Provide Debit Cards and IBAN Accounts to Investors (P2P Banking) Rated: AAA
P2P lending marketplace Mintos has raised 5 million EUR in a Series A. The money is earmarked to provide new features for investors.
Crowdlending campaign raises total of €1.5 million for the first time (The Brussels Times) Rated: A
The announcement came on Wednesday from the platform Look&Fin, which specialises in such participative finance loans. The company, Carimat Matériaux, based in Braine-le-Château and active in construction, has raised this record amount.
In total, 483 individuals have invested in Carimat Matériaux, for a global total of €1.5 million. The group, which has specialised in construction since 1988, recorded a turnover of €56 million in 2017 and employs more than 170 people.
Berlin-based fintech startup Bonify raises funding to provide free credit scores and financial advice (EU Startups) Rated: A
Want to apply for a loan, but you’re unsure about your credit score? The Berlin-based startup Bonify provides free, easy-to-read credit reports. Users can use the startup’s platform or app to check and correct their scores, monitor changes, and receive tips on personal finance and how to optimise their scores.
Bonify evaluates consumers real-time creditworthiness, enabling them to improve their financial wellbeing through tailored financial and non-financial recommendations. The app delivers recommendations for how consumers can save money, for instance by switching to a different loan or energy provider. Bonify is also able to predict six to eight weeks in advance when its users might go into their overdraft, and provide personalised suggestions for how to avoid this.
Italian lendtech Credimi feeling dreamy with €10m funding (Fintech Futures) Rated: A
The investment funds came via United Ventures and Vertis, as well as some of the (unnamed) investors who took part in the first round of €8.5 million in September 2015.
Ignazio Rocco di Torrepadula, Credimi founder and CEO, and cool name winner, says: “Credimi’s initial start-up phase has been exhilarating, with results that have far exceeded our expectations.
SME Online Lender Creditshelf Names Fabian Brügmann New CFO (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B
Creditshelf Aktiengesellschaft, a Germany based online lender, announced on Wednesday it has appointed Fabian Brügmann as its new CFO, effective on January 15, 2019. The lender reported that this appointment continues its planned expansion of its management team and in the newly formed position, Brügmann will be responsible for Finance and Investor Relations and directly report to Dr. Tim Thabe, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of Creditshelf. He will not serve as a member of the Management Board himself.
According to Creditshelf, Brügmann previously worked as Director of Investor Relations at Commerzbank AG, where he was the contact for shareholders, fixed-income investors, and sell-side analysts. He joined the bank’s Corporate Development and Corporate Finance team in 2012. As IR Manager, Brügmann worked on the capital market communication for the “Commerzbank 4.0” strategy. He previously spent six years with the U.S. bank Goldman Sachs in Frankfurt and London.
Small Business Lender iwoca Appoints Seema Desai as COO (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B
Online lender iwoca has selected Seema Desai as their new Chief Operations Officer (COO). iwoca provides loans of up to £200,000 to small and micro businesses across the UK, Germany, and Poland via its website and through partner integrations using its proprietary Lending API.
Desai joined iwoca in January 2017 as Head of People, developing the company’s organizational capabilities. Prior to joining iwoca, Seema led the development of the Innovative Finance ISA at peer-to-peer lender Zopa as Head of Product.
As COO, Desai is expected to help scale customer service that has helped propel iwoca to become one of the fastest growing business lender in the UK.
Prodigy Finance Launches Refinance Product for International Working Graduates Looking to Reduce Financial Costs (PR Newswire) Rated: A
Prodigy Finance, the pioneer in cross-border finance, announces the launch of a loan refinance product for international working graduates looking to reduce their student debt. The product will allow these alumni, who previously had limited options available to them, to save at least US$20,0001 over the life of the loan, by accessing lower rates and choices of terms.
The edge a serial entrepreneur sees in challenger banks (American Banker) Rated: A
Challenger bank entrepreneur Anthony Thomson has had several lives in banking and fintech.
In 2010, with Commerce Bank founder Vernon Hill, he co-founded Metro Bank, which started with one location in London and now has more than 56 branches and 2,800 employees. Thomson founded a second challenger bank in 2014 called Atom Bank, the first mobile-only bank in the U.K. As of March, it had 1.3 billion pounds of deposits and lent 1.2 billion pounds in mortgages and small-business loans.
Thomson is currently working on his third institution, called 86,400, a mobile-first challenger bank slated to launch in Australia in early 2019.
So it’s fair to say Thomson has learned a lot about what it takes to raise money and how to make it as a neobank entrepreneur.
The Ripple Effect: Crypto Backed Lending Platform Exploring XRP-Powered xRapid (The Daily Hodl) Rated: A
The crypto lending platform Nexo says it’s exploring Ripple’s xRapid, which uses XRP to boost the speed and lower the cost of cross-border payments. The announcement comes from Antoni Trenchev, the co-founder and managing partner of Nexo.
The company is backed by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington and calls itself a “decentralized lending ecosystem that facilitates open access to credit anywhere and anytime.” It uses a long list of banking and exchange partners to deliver loans.
Nexo follows the payment company and Ripple partner TransferGo, which also revealed its interest in xRapid this week. Nexo recently added XRP to its platform, becoming one of the first lenders to use XRP as collateral.
MSTS Makes B2B Commerce Effortless for SMBs with Credit as a Service (Globe Newswire) Rated: B
The original enterprise product, with a record of accelerating sales growth for companies by as much as 500 percent, has been optimized to meet the needs of businesses with simpler payment and credit processes. The cloud-based Credit as a Service solution for mid-market businesses can issue credit lines in less than a minute, automate the customer onboarding process and apply unique B2B customer invoicing, accounts payable and payment term requirements – providing customers flexibility and an enhanced experience.
MSTS works with B2B companies across transportation, manufacturing, retail and eCommerce.
Advice demand soaring in Australia despite trust issues (International Investment) Rated: AAA
The 2018 Financial Advice Report from Investment Trends found that an estimated 2.1 million adults intend to turn to a financial planner for advice, up from 1.6 million in 2017.
However, trust levels in banks and financial planners fell severely over that same period. On a scale of 0 to 10, banks fell from a trust rating of 5.5 to 4.8, while financial planners fell from 5.1 to 4.8.
The report found more than 40% of Australians do not believe the financial services and banking industries are meeting their obligations to everyday citizens.
Big banks welcome government competition for small end of town (Sidney Morning Herald) Rated: A
Australia’s biggest banks insist they welcome the prospect of looming lending competition from the federal government’s proposed $2 billion small business loan plan.
Under the policy unveiled by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Wednesday the government will establish a $2 billion securitisation fund which it will use to buy pools of small business loans from smaller banks and non-bank lenders.
Small business cheer $ 2b end to funding drought (Australian Financial Review) Rated: A
Small business and non-bank lenders have endorsed the Morrison government’s plans to inject $2 billion into the small and medium enterprise loan market.
But regulatory experts warned the government must avoid taking too much financial risk and not weaken bank rules in its quest to stimulate SME funding via a separate proposed bank-financed Australian Business Growth Fund.
Piper Alderman brings in financial services team (Australasian Lawyer) Rated: B
A national firm has added a financial services team, including a new partner in Sydney.
Andrea Beatty has commenced at Piper Alderman as a partner. She brought to the firm two other lawyers and an administrative assistant from NewLaw outfit Keypoint Law, where she was a consulting principal since 2016.
With more than 20 years’ experience in financial services regulation and corporate finance, Beatty is a former partner at legacy Mallesons Stephen Jaques and then at K&L Gates.
New securities law sparks concerns from expert (Vietnam News) Rated: AAA
Under the revised draft Law on Securities, the foreign ownership ratio in a public company is expanded up to 100 per cent. Previous regulations had capped foreign ownership at 49 per cent. However, this ratio in commercial banks, which is a much-concerned issue recently, was not mentioned in the draft. Why?
The draft has removed limits on how many voting shares foreign investors can buy in public Vietnamese companies. This indicates that the Government has sped up the equitisation process in State-owned enterprises, especially in non-essential sectors that are not too sensitive to the economy. However, under the draft, some conditional business lines, such as commercial banks, would retain their existing 30 per cent limit. I agree with this provision of the drafting agency.
How Standard Chartered Bank is tackling digital disruption (Tech in Asia) Rated: A
While banks have not been immune to the technology bug that has spread in the last few decades, digitization in the industry has only largely been implemented “for purpose in the back end,” according to Michael Gorriz, group chief information officer at Standard Chartered Bank.
“Fifty years ago, we introduced mainframes. We took paper ledgers and put them into computers,” the CIO explains.
But the emergence of a tech-savvy millennial generation is bringing about “the first real massive change in banks since the inception of banking,” he says. As such, banks like Standard Chartered have to digitize front-facing processes or risk losing their customers.
Russian Online Lender MFC Zaymer Joins Robo.cash (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA
Automated peer to peer platform Robo.cash has issued a note saying Russian microfinance company MFC Zaymer is joining their platform. The company operates Zaymer.ru that offers short-term (payday) loans with interest rates for investors of 14% in Euros and up to 18% for loans originated in Rubles.
Nigeria dials up mobile banking revolution (Financial Times) Rated: AAA
Nigeria’s central bank is looking to increase access to millions of people by opening up the banking system to non-financial companies for the first time; South African telecom operator MTN is set to be the biggest beneficiary with more than 50 million customers located in Nigeria; MTN is planning to apply for a banking license soon with the hopes of having their Mobile Money product available in country by Q2 2019; more than 60 million people in Nigeria do not have bank accounts, showing there is an enormous opportunity for telcos to expand the banking footprint.