Thursday August 29 2019, Weekly News Digest

VC-backed fintech

News Comments Today’s main news: Funding Circle closes $198M ABS for U.S. SMBs. KBRA assigns preliminary ratings to Consumer Loan Underlying Bond Credit Trust 2019-P2. SoFi to create 300 jobs in Jacksonville, Florida. LendInvest postpones IPO until at least 2020. Binance offers crypto lending. Today’s main analysis: The nonbank and alternative lending industry in 2019. […]

The post Thursday August 29 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

VC-backed fintech

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

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News Summary

United States

Funding Circle Closes $ 198 Million Securitization to Support US Small Businesses (Valdosta Daily Times), Rated: AAA

Funding Circle today closed its first asset-backed securitization (ABS) of US small business loans originated through its platform. The $198 million deal marks the debut of Funding Circle’s US securitization sponsorship capability, and is the fifth securitization of Funding Circle business loans globally.

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2019-P2 (Benzinga), Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2019-P2 (“CLUB 2019-P2”). This is a $287.80 million consumer loan ABS transaction.

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

2019-P2

Class

Preliminary Rating

Initial Class Principal

A

A+ (sf)

$200,700,000

B

A- (sf)

$37,900,000

C

BB (sf)

$49,200,000

DeSantis says SoFi, SS&C Technologies will create 498 jobs in Jacksonville (Jax Daily Record), Rated: AAA

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that two international information technology companies will create a combined 498 jobs in Jacksonville, disclosing the names of Project Quail and Project Liberty.

SoFi, a California-based online personal finance company, has been seeking $1.5 million in state and city incentives through the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund program as code-named Project Quail to establish its southeastern operations center and create 300 jobs in Jacksonville.

Court activity on Aug. 27: Sofi Lending Corp. vs Cindy Luu (SE Texas Record), Rated: B

The Harris County Civil Court reported the following activity in the suit brought by Sofi Lending Corp. against Cindy Luu on Aug. 27: ‘Original Petition Citation Issued’.

Swimming Pools Are a Highly Prized Amenity Amid the Summer Heat (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

A new LendingTree study ranks the 50 largest cities by its share of homes with a swimming pool. We found that about 10% of homes have pools, ranging from nearly 33% in Phoenix to 1% in Portland, Ore. We also looked at the values of homes with and without swimming pools to show how much this amenity is worth. Let’s dive in.

Key findings

  • You’ve gotta pay to play: The median home with a pool is valued at $469,187, while the median home without a pool is valued at $305,152 — a 54% premium. The highest premium is in Memphis at a whopping 157%.
  • Go West: It’s no surprise that six of the top 10 cities for swimming pools are in the West — four in California and one each in Arizona and Nevada.
  • Hot, hot, hot: Phoenix, which experiences more than 100 days above 100 degrees a year, leads the way with 32.7% of homes having a swimming pool.
  • Sunshine State: Florida is not far behind California with three cities in the top 10. Miami, Tampa and Orlando rank second, third and fourth, respectively.
  • Rain and water don’t mix: Two of the cities with the least swimming pools are in the rainy Northwest. Portland is in last place with just 1% of homes with pools, while Seattle is not far ahead with 1.3%.
Source: LendingTree

Brex Teams With BigCommerce To Offer Merchant Financing (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Corporate eCommerce card company Brex has announced a partnership with leading SaaS eCommerce platform BigCommerce, according to a release.

Brex’s open credit line, three-month payment terms and interest-free financing are now available to all BigCommerce merchants through the BigCommerce App Store.

German challenger bank N26’s plan to win over Americans (American Banker), Rated: A

N26’s new SoHo office has all the design elements of a tech startup — high ceilings, distressed wood, big windows, a pingpong table, beanbag chairs, community meeting areas.

Digital Banking And Branches Not An Either/Or Proposition (PYMNTS), Rated: A

GOBankingRates found that 25 percent of consumer prefer banking with a mobile app, though nearly half preferred banking in person at a branch or ATM. Yet 76 percent said they wouldn’t open an account with a bank that doesn’t have a mobile app.

According to Fiserv, the preference for digital interactions (online plus mobile) is 58 percent, considerably ahead of the preference for branch interactions (32 percent).

When breaking out online, though, there is a preference for online (37 percent) compared to mobile (17 percent).

Why Fifth Third is raising its bet on alternative power (American Banker), Rated: A

Fifth Third Bancorp is building out its renewable energy banking business, highlighting how the alternative power niche isn’t just for the biggest banks.

The $169 billion-asset Fifth Third recently added three new managing directors to its renewable energy investment banking group. With the additions of Timothy Beach, Ari Citrin and Oliver Janssen, the bank intends to offer more specialized capital markets and M&A advisory services to renewable energy firms, most of which are in solar.

How to Get Your Small Business Ready for a Recession (Successful Meetings), Rated: A

How students are trying to avoid college loans (Marketplace.org), Rated: AAA

Student debt can seem inevitable. Today, more than 44 million Americans owe nearly $1.5 trillion in student loans. This debt has been blamed for many things: Americans’ lack of retirement savingsdeclining rates of home ownership, even the death of marriage.

A look at the nonbank and alternative lending industry in 2019 (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

According to Oracle’s Digital Demand in Retail Banking study of 5,200 consumers from 13 countries, over 40% of customers surveyed think nonbanks can better assist them with personal money management and investment needs, and 30% of respondents who haven’t tried a nonbank platform said they’re open to trying one.

Business Insider Intelligence’s Online Mortgage Lending Report found that the top five US banks – Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase, US Bancorp, and Citigroup – only accounted for 21% of total mortgage originations, which is a huge decline from their 50% combined market share in 2011.

Source: Business Insider

According to a survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, in 2016 only 58% of loan requests from small businesses were approved by incumbent banks, compared to 71% approved by alt lenders that same year.

Fund That Flip Raises Another $ 11M to be the Funding Solution for Real Estate Speculators (Alley Watch), Rated: A

AlleyWatch caught up with Matt Rodak to learn more about the company’s success, future growth plans, and recent round of funding, which brings its total funding to $13M across four rounds.

New Tools Help Mortgage Lenders Build Stronger Relationships with Borrowers’ Real Estate Agents (SimpleNexus), Rated: A

SimpleNexus makes it easy for loan originators to create co-branded mobile apps for Realtor partners to share with borrowers. The shared platform enhances the borrower experience by keeping partners up-to-speed on loan progress and putting mortgage calculators and other handy tools at partners’ fingertips.

Pagaya Expands PAID Shelf with Prosper: Closing $ 115 Million Consumer Credit ABS (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Pagaya, a global financial technology company using artificial intelligence (AI) to reshape asset management, today announced the closing of a consumer credit asset-backed security (ABS) at $115 million. Led by structuring agent Cantor Fitzgerald, the ABS will be actively managed by Pagaya’s AI.

Pagaya has been working closely with Prosper to develop innovative financing solutions for consumers, which will be featured in this securitization.

Tech startup Blooma launches out stealth with $ 2.75 million seed funding for its loan origination AI platform (Tech Startups), Rated: A

Blooma, a tech startup that reduces time to revenue for commercial lenders, launches out of stealth with $2.75 million seed funding to transform the lending experience for commercial and private lenders and other organizations. The financing was led by Floodgate, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based investor. Other backers include: Abstract Ventures, Crescent Ridge Partners and Serra Ventures.

Former PayPal executive joins crypto lending startup Cred as CFO (The Block Crypto), Rated: B

Cryptocurrency lending and borrowing startup Cred has hired former PayPal executive as its chief financial officer (CFO), according to an announcement Monday.

iCapital Network expands exec team with four New hires (PE Hub), Rated: B

“STYLE360” Celebrates 15 Years At New York Fashion Week With New Title Sponsor Klarna (PRWeb), Rated: B

Fashion event agency, A-List Communications announces their lineup and new title sponsor Klarna for their 15th year of STYLE360, which will take place during the latter portion of Spring/Summer 2020 New York Fashion Week from September 9 – 11, 2019.

White Oak Commercial Finance Originates a Revolving Credit Facility to The Good Kitchen (Financial Content), Rated: B

White Oak Commercial Finance (“White Oak”), an affiliate of White Oak Global Advisors, announced today the origination of a new revolving credit facility to healthy meal service company The Good Kitchen. Originally founded as a meal delivery service, The Good Kitchen will use the proceeds of the credit facility to expand its business into packaged meals sold at 1,500 stores across the United States.

Lenders Moving Away From Small-Dollar Loans to High-Interest Installment Loans (Lexology), Rated: B

California non-bank consumer lenders are moving away from small-dollar short term payday loans and are, instead, embracing longer-term installment…

United Kingdom

LendInvest reportedly shelves IPO plans for now (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Nearly a year after announcing a $39.5m “pre-IPO” funding roundLendInvest has delayed plans to IPO this year in favour of another private cash injection, according to a report by Financial News.

Mobile banking apps in the UK are surging ahead of investment and insurance apps (Business Insider), Rated: A

Over three-quarters of consumers in the UK use a finance app, according to a new study from Speedie Consultants that surveyed 200 people in the country. Twenty-four percent of those surveyed use their finance apps around twice a week, and 23% said they use it daily. The most common finance app users were aged 25-45, in addition to consumers over 65.

Source: Business Insider

Klarna launches VAR campaign created by 72andSunny (Prolific London), Rated: A

Swedish fintech payments firm Klarna has launched a new campaign focused around the introduction of Video Assistant Referee technology in the UK’s Premiere League.

Celsius Network Sees A 20x Increase In Deposits, However, Many Analysts Are Concerned (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: A

According to the latest press release, leading crypto lending firm Celsius Network has seen an increase of 2,165% growth in deposits. The network has already surpassed 20,000 BTC through mobile app deposits during the first year of operations.

New data reveals rapid growth in Peer-To-Peer lending is cannibalising High st bank market share (ResponseSource), Rated: A

Know Your Money data revealed that:

• Peer to Peer and Challenger lenders comparison searches have more than doubled in 3 years

• 33% of Businesses selected a P2P or challenger lender on  in 2019 – compared to just 15% in 2017

• Alternative lending interest more than doubled in the last 2 years

Revolut Boosts Executive Leadership with New Hires from Traditional Banking (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

According to Revolut, the Fintech bank has hired Philip Doyle as Director of Financial Crime Risk, Wolfgang Bardorf as Treasurer and Stefan Wille as Deputy Chief Financial Officer.

European Union

Zurich-based Numbrs is the latest fintech to join the unicorn club (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

The Zurich-based fintech, whose investors include former Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann, raised $40 million at a valuation of over $1 billion, reports Bloomberg. The latest investment brings Numbrs’ total raise to date to almost $200 million, CEO Martin Saidler told the outlet.

Notably, in contrast to many of its peers, Numbrs has joined the unicorn club not by focusing on venture capital and private equity funding, but instead by relying mostly on individuals and families — 50 have invested in the company thus far. The startup’s app enables users to aggregate their various bank accounts and manage their finances, and offers a marketplace for consumers to purchase various financial products.

Source: Business Insider

P2P Global Investments sells largest position for €250m (AltFi), Rated: A

The £1bn P2P Global Investments has sold one of its largest positions, in Castlehaven Finance, an Irish alternative development and bridging finance lender.

Castlehaven typically provides loans of between €1m – €20m in the property space, an increasingly big proportion of P2P GI’s portfolio.

The investment trust has provided financing in excess of €385m to Castlehaven since 2016.

What is the EU doing to understand if Artificial Intelligence apps are trustworthy? (Open Access Government), Rated: B

The University of Oxford received an immense £150 million donation to create a centre studying the ethics surrounding AI in the modern world, whilst global audiences continue to be fascinated by shows like Black Mirror which explore the worst-case consequences of AI accessing personal data.

The project is composed of three distinct, albeit related, parts, run in sequence from January 2019 to December 2020:

Part 1: Application of AI for risk management in bank and peer to peer lending

Part 2: Application of AI for risk management in financial investments and robot advisory

Part 3: Application of AI for risk management in blockchain payments and crypto assets

International

Binance Launches Crypto Lending Service (CryptoGlobe), Rated: AAA

Binance has launched a lending service allowing its users to earn cryptocurrency without trading, in a passive way. Currently the service is open for only a few tokens – its Binance Coin (BNB), Tether’s USDT stablecoin, and Ethereum Classic (ETC). Annualized interest rates are of 15% for BNB, 10% for USDT, and 7& for ETC.

Alternative Finance is Experiencing an Unprecedented Boom Worldwide (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Ten years after the financial crisis, Alternative Finance continues to exhibit strong growth. The sector is estimated to account for nearly €300 billion of inflows worldwide, a market exhibiting 25% annual growth and largely dominated by the Chinese (75%), which percentage was already recorded in 2015 by a study conducted jointly by KPMG and the University of Cambridge.

The United States takes second place with 19% of the market, while Europe currently represents just 6%, 60% of which comes from the United Kingdom. In France, alternative finance raised €1.4 billion in 2018, a year-on-year increase of 39% according to the annual report of KPMG and the non-profit group Financement Participatif France (FPF).

The latest crowdfunding trend is in real estate (Born2Invest), Rated: A

The global crowdfunding market is estimated to be expanding from 2018 to 2022 to $89.72 billion. From the first recorded successful crowdfunding in 1997, to how the first dedicated crowdfunding platform ArtistShare had come about in the year 2000,  crowdfunding has indeed disrupted many industries in different levels.

How and why the global centre of cryptocurrency moved back to Asia (Finder), Rated: A

The problem of investment scammers is much bigger than cryptocurrency though, Wong pointed out, and much bigger than Invest: Asia.

“I don’t think Invest: Asia is big enough to move the needle if you’re running a scam in China,” he said. “That just speaks to the size of the population in China. In general, I think there’s lots of financial scams in general in China, right? For example, a couple years ago there was a big peer to peer lending scandal.”

“The peer to peer lending was legitimately becoming a hot growth FinTech sector in China, but then people were running these peer to peer scams. Because it was so hot, everyone’s talking about it. It creates the conditions for scammers to launch whatever scheme that they want to launch.”

Australia/New Zealand

Prospa Full Year 2019 Results (Scoop), Rated: AAA

• FY19 loan originations of $501.7 million up 36.6% on the prior year (FY18: $367.3 million), 3.1% ahead of prospectus forecast.
• FY19 revenue of $136.4 million up 31.2% on the prior year (FY18: $104.0 million), in line with prospectus forecast.
• FY19 pro forma EBITDA of $6.8 million, ahead of prospectus forecast by 11.5%.
• Prospa has now delivered approximately $1.2 billion in loans since inception and total customer numbers in Australia and New Zealand grew to over 20,000 in FY19, up 58% on the prior year.
• Customer satisfaction remains consistently high, with Prospa’s annual average Net Promoter Score in excess of +77 in 2019. Prospa also has a rating of 9.8/10 on independent review platform TrustPilot.
• Business expansion has continued with the successful launch of new cash flow products and services and diversification into New Zealand.
• Further investment in executive strength, with new Chief Technology Officer, Chief Commercial Officer and Executive General Manager, Growth Channels appointed.

2019 Finder Awards winners (Finder), Rated: AAA

The 2019 Finder Awards recognise the market’s most competitive offerings across credit cards, home loans, personal loans, car insurance, banking, insurance, technology and superannuation.

Source: Finder
Source: Finder
Source: Finder
Source: Finder
Source: Up Bank
India

What future trends do you foresee in the startup ecosystem? (New India Express), Rated: AAA

P2P lending has also become increasingly popular as an alternative lending route as small businesses find it easier to obtain loans directly from other individuals. Going forward, we can expect more cloud-based services backed by advanced analytics that offer personalized loan limits and payback schedules, based on the borrower’s credit history.

Traditional players will also get into online lending and emulate the strategies of P2P lending companies. More businesses will start adopting work-from-home policies to increase cost savings and productivity. On the tech front, businesses will start investing more in AI and analytics to get a deeper insight into customer behaviour.

– Kewal Kapoor, director and creative strategist of CHAI Kreative and Return of Million Smiles  

Xiaomi is moving into India’s consumer-lending market (Business Insider), Rated: A

The fourth-largest mobile phone vendor plans to launch a consumer-lending business, dubbed Mi Credit, in India in the next few weeks, according to Reuters. It will offer loans of up to 100,000 rupees ($1,451), with interest rates starting at 1.8%.

Xiaomi is positioned as a leading smartphone manufacturer in India, with 70 million mobile phones in use throughout the country. It already launched its payment app, dubbed Mi Pay, in the country in March, which is reportedly “doing well,” per Reuters. For context, in China, Xiaomi’s lending business shows a loan book worth $8 billion.

Source: Business Insider

Furniture rental startup RentoMojo to raise Rs 27.7 Cr led by Samsung VC arm (YourStory), Rated: B

In July 2019, the company secured Rs 1.16 crore from Renaud Laplanche, the Co-founder and CEO of Upgrade, who earlier participated in the startup’s Series C funding round of Rs 77 crore in May, along with Accel Partners, Chiratae Ventures, IDG Ventures, and Bain Capital. At that time, the startup said the funds will be used for accelerating its growth and expansion to new cities.

Canada

IOU Financial Inc. Releases Financial Results for the Three and Six- Month Period Ended June 30, 2019 (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

  • Loan originations increased 31.8% to US$38.5 million in Q2 2019 compared to Q2 2018.
  • Total loans under management increased 36.4% to $101.0 million as at June 30, 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
  • Adjusted gross revenue increased 25.1% to $5.5 million in Q2 2019 compared to Q2 2018.
  • Adjusted Operating Expense Ratio decreased to 10.0% in Q2 2019 compared to 11.9% in Q2 2018.
  • Adjusted net earnings amounted to $0.3 million in the second quarter of 2019, representing the sixth consecutive profitable quarter. Adjusted net earnings amounted to $0.8 million year-to-date.
Africa

Why and how peer-to-peer lending had to become market place lending (Business Live), Rated: AAA

The linked dangers of an inverted yield curve and a slowing economy have hammered banks stocks in recent months, and profit margins are already compressing. But the banks’ worries pale in comparison to challenges confronting the peer-to-peer or “market place” lenders — the start-ups that have set out, over the past decade or so, to upturn the banking industry.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday August 29 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday April 11 2019, Weekly News Digest

china p2p lending

News Comments Today’s main news: Lending Club loans $159M in the past week. OnDeck offers same-day funding. Kabbage secures $700M in funding. RateSetter ISA passes 200M GBP in subscriptions. Funding Circle CEO pocketed 4M GBP last year. Klarna launches global customer authentication platform. Today’s main analysis: Drivers of global growth in FSB’s shadow banking. (A […]

The post Thursday April 11 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

china p2p lending

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

China

Other

News Summary

United States

Need a loan for Tax Day? According to Lending Club data, you’re not aloan… er, alone (Thinknum), Rated: AAA

As seen in data from Lending Club ($NYSE:LC), there is a cyclical spike in the number of loans, as well as the money needed by those needing loans, right around the end of tax season. While this finding may seem pretty clear without any data, it essentially confirms an adage in the lending industry.

RIght now, there was only $21.5 million loaned out to lendees from April 8 to today. This past week, there was about $159 million worth of all sorts of loans — personal, mortgage, etc. — loaned out by the platform.

Lending Club Total Principal Loaned (Weekly)

ONDECK OFFERS SAME DAY FUNDING TO EMPOWER SMALL BUSINESS (OnDeck), Rated: AAA

OnDeck today announced that it will offer to fund and debit customer bank accounts with Same Day ACH transfers, eliminating a decades long pain point for small business owners accustomed to the traditional ACH transfer process, which can take multiple days and lacks certainty on when the transactions will hit bank accounts.

Same Day ACH transfers from OnDeck provide qualified OnDeck Term Loan and Line of Credit customers with funds up to the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) cap of $25,000 by 5:00 pm local time on the same business day the customer books or makes a draw on their line of credit.* Qualified customers are also debited via the same day ACH service, providing them additional predictability in transaction clearing times and offering better clarity around day-to-day cash flow management.

Highlights from Jamie Dimon’s Annual Letter (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

US payrolls rose by 196 k in March and the unemployment rate remained at 3.8%.

Source: Bloomberg, PeerIQ

Highlights from Jamie Dimon’s Letter to Shareholders

Jamie Dimon published his annual letter to shareholders. We look at some highlights below:

  • The banking system, and JPM in particular, is over-capitalized – Under the Fed’s most extreme stress-testing scenario, where 35 of the largest American banks bear extreme losses (as if each were the worst bank in the system), the combined losses are about 6% of the total loss absorbing resources of those 35 banks.
Source: JPM, PeerIQ

PM is investing billions in technology to compete – the cloud, AI, ML and digital banking

  • JPM customers can now open a bank account online in under 5 minutes and can reduce their mortgage closing times to 3 weeks.
  • The bank now has 49 Mn active digital customers, including 33 Mn active mobile customers
  • JPM is looking at fintechs in the US and in China as not just opportunities but also looming competition.

Online lender Kabbage rakes in 0m funding (Verdict), Rated: AAA

Kabbage, an online lender for small businesses, has fetched $700m in asset-backed securitisation (ABS) funding.

With the securitisation, the company’s debt funding increases to $940m.

Real-time data was Kabbage’s secret sauce, its first investor says (American Banker), Rated: A

The firm started life as a small, scrappy fintech startup in Atlanta in 2008, but has grown rapidly. It made $2 billion worth of loans in 2018 and more than $600 million in the first quarter of 2019. It also recently agreed to provide financing at the point of sale on Alibaba.com as part of a program called Pay Later.

Upstart Raises $ 50 Million and Announces New Bank Partners (Lend Academy), Rated: A

One of the big announcements on day one of LendIt Fintech USA 2019 is from consumer lender Upstart. They have announced a $50 million equity raise as well as three new partners for their “Powered by Upstart” banking as a service program. Oh, and they are getting into credit cards.

PeerStreet Lowers Minimum Real Estate Investment to $ 100 (Think Reality), Rated: A

The burgeoning peer-to-peer lending platform PeerStreet has unveiled product updates that enable investments of only $100.

The company recently announced it’s lowered the minimum investment to $100 for “small balance reinvestments” when using its automated investing product. The upgrade also expands the investment types available for automated investing to include cash offer loans and 30-day notes, which offer shorter terms than typical bridge loan investment options, the company said.

Sharestates Wins Top Real Estate Platform Award at LendIt Fintech USA 2019 (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Sharestates, a marketplace lending platform that connects real estate developers with investors, was crowned Top Real Estate Platform at LendIt Fintech USA2019 in San Francisco, California on April 9, 2019. The Top Real Estate Platform award is based on performance, volume, growth, product diversity, and responsiveness to stakeholders.

Now operating in 46 states, Sharestates offers diversified asset classes including residential, multi-family, mixed-use, commercial properties, and land acquisitions.

Since launching in 2015, Sharestates has closed on over $1.7 billion in total loan volume and returned over $675 million in principal to investors. Average annualized returns have exceeded 10% every year. As a result of its strong performance and valued relationships, 82% of Sharestates loan volume has come from repeat borrowers and 81% of its investors are repeat investors.

The stREITwise Platform Brings Real Estate Investment to All (Realty Biz News), Rated: B

The company has just announced a new acquisition to its investment portfolio, a $32 million mixed-use building in Carmel, Indiana, one of the most affluent suburbs of Indianapolis. The 140,000-square foot Allied Solutions Building, already around 87 percent leased, stands poised to increase dramatically in value thanks to its location in the heart of downtown Carmel in the heart of a busy mixed-use development surrounded by restaurants, coffee shops, fast-casual dining, service-oriented retail, and the locally renownedSun King distillery and food hall right next door.

13 cities where renting is cheaper than buying a home (AOL), Rated: A

Americans’ homeownership rate is 64.8%, according to the latest U.S. Census data.

Following are the 13 metros where renting is cheaper by more than $150 a month, beginning with cities with a smaller advantage for renters.

BlueVine Adds Term Loan to Suite of Online Working Capital Solutions to Fuel Small Business Growth (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

BlueVine, which provides small- and medium-sized businesses with access to fast and simple online financing, announced that it is making term loan financing available for business owners through its suite of online financing solutions. The BlueVine Term Loan provides small- and medium-sized business owners with fast and simple access to financing to grow their businesses through BlueVine’s advanced online platform. More than 59 percent of businesses are looking for funds to grow their business, according to the 2017 Federal Reserve Small Business Credit Survey Report on Employer Firms. With a BlueVine Term Loan, business owners can quickly pursue larger projects and investments to bring their businesses to new heights.

Aura Approves 350,000th Affordable Loan (Bakersfield.com), Rated: A

Aura, a mission-driven financial technology company that offers affordable loans to hard-working families, this week approved its 350,000 th loan.

Since its launch in 2014, Aura has provided more than $437 million in credit-building loans to borrowers at approximately 1,200 partner locations using technology that enables local businesses to administer loan applications. Currently, Aura’s average loan size is around $1,600.

In total, Aura has raised over $403 million in social bonds across 21 bond issuances. The most recent issuance was in March for $50 million.

What Kind of Collateral Do I Need for a Business Loan? (Nav), Rated: A

Before you can qualify for a commercial loan, you’ll need to prove that doing business with your company is a good risk. This means you’ll need to pass successfully through a lender’s qualification process.

Next Wave of Personal Loan Growth May be Driven by Prime and Above Consumers (MarketWatch), Rated: A

The prime and above risk tiers have become a greater focus for lenders in recent years. Nearly two-thirds of unsecured personal loan balances originated in the first three quarters of 2018 were lent to prime and above consumers. FinTechs drove this shift as originations for prime and above grew to 62% in 2018, up from 52% in 2013. While still less conservative than banks, FinTechs’ overall risk profile for originations now aligns tightly with credit unions. At the end of 2018, FinTechs held the majority share of personal loan balances with 39%, while banks and credit unions followed with 28% and 21%, respectively.

Student Debt Isn’t Just An Employee Problem — It’s Also An Employer Problem (Killer Startups), Rated: A

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported in its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for the fourth quarter of 2018 that outstanding student loan debt increased to $1.46 trillion, which is $15 billion more than the previous quarter. It also reported that student loan debt rose by $79 billion in 2018.

The student debt load isn’t just impacting the individual students who enter the workforce, hoping they can find a job that enables them to make those monthly payments. I’s also slowing economic growth. A January 2019 Federal Reserve paper noted that young adults report their student loan debt is the reason they’re unable to buy a home. The same report also cited other research concluding that 20 percent of the decline in homeownership among young adults relates to student loan debt that’s been rising since 2005.

Amount Announces Cloud-Based Account Verification Platform (Kake), Rated: A

Amount today announced AmountVerify, a cloud-based platform for risk management across financial products. AmountVerify marks the first time industry leading fintech provider Avant is making a component of its cutting edge online lending platform available to financial service companies as a standalone product through Amount.

Onfido raises $ 50M to create the Identity Verification Standard for Businesses Globally (Markets Insider), Rated: A

Onfido, the global identity verification provider, today announced it has raised $50M in funding, bringing the total investment in the company to over $100M. The round was led by SBI Investment and Salesforce Ventures, with support from M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures), FinVC and others, including existing investors.

Forward Financing Expands Capital Base with $ 90 Million Credit Facility (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Forward Financing has closed on a $90 million credit facility, consisting of a $60 million senior revolving credit facility and a $30 million junior term loan. AloStar Capital Finance (“AloStar”), a division of Cadence Bank, N.A., served as the Agent on the senior facility.

Credibly Announces Investment Grade Senior Debt Offering (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Today, Credibly announces the next phase in its balance sheet growth strategy with a $10 million Investment Grade-rated senior debt offering. The transaction closed on March 28, 2019.

Mitek Expands Auto-Capture User Experience Across All Digital Channels with the Addition of Desktop (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

Mitek today announced it has upgraded its desktop browser experience to support auto-capture so customers can rapidly verify the identity of applicants across all digital channels: desktop browsers, mobile web and native applications.

According to Javelin Research, today only one third of users (34 percent) still complete the entire account opening process on their desktop.

MiSnap delivers a superior auto-capture experience for desktop and across mobile devices through:

  • Guided commands:  Real-time commands such as where to place a document in relation to the camera or detection of glare on the ID document are some of the conditions evaluated in order to help the user capture an optimal image, which improves image acceptance rates and reduces capture retries.
  • Advanced image analysis: Once MiSnap has achieved an optimal capture of the ID document, the software then further analyzes the image and makes the necessary adjustments in order to process all images consistently and accurately.
  • Modern architecture: Because MiSnap uses WebAssembly, it can perform at native speeds and is easy to integrate into customers’ web-based apps and requires minimal footprint.

58% of lenders will use AI in next two years (AI Foundry Email), Rated: A

Fannie Mae recently put out a 

  • Nearly two-thirds of lenders are familiar with AI
  • But, only 27% are using it in their businesses now, and…
  • Only half of that group are currently using it with customers (the rest are doing trials)
  • However, looking ahead two years – 58% of lenders expect to use AI/ML in their mortgage business.
  • Of the rest:
      • 22% predict they’ll be investigating AI
      • 19% foresee being in a “wait and see” mode

    These data points show us that “prime time” is coming soon for AI/ML in mortgages. 

    Fintech alone won’t be enough to boost credit union mortgage volumes (Credit Union Journal), Rated: A

    How can credit unions, especially small institutions, compete with Quicken Loans’ Rocket Mortgage “Push button, get mortgage” campaign?

    They can’t – and, sources said, they shouldn’t try.

    GROUNDFLOOR Wins 2 FinTech Awards (Groundfloor Email), Rated: B

    GROUNDFLOOR was named Best Crowdfunding Platform by the 

    Pulte Mortgage and Finicity Partner to Combat the Home Loan Paper Chase (MarketWatch), Rated: B

    Pulte Mortgage announced today it is partnering with Finicity — a leading provider of real-time financial data access and insights, to provide its borrowers with a faster, simpler and more secure way to navigate the home financing process.

    Hudson Data and LendingPoint partner to prevent Synthetic ID fraud (Finanzen), Rated: B

    Hudson Data and LendingPoint announced that they are partnering to create an industry solution to prevent synthetic identity fraud using powerful graph machine learning.

    Dharma crypto lending platform officially goes live (CoinGeek), Rated: B

    Dharma Labs completed a Series A funding round earlier this year to support its cryptocurrency lending platform project. The San Francisco-based company raised $7 million from companies such as Polychain Capital, Coinbase Ventures and others and, if there was any concern about the platform not going live, those concerns are now extinguished. Dharma announced this past Monday in a Medium post that the platform is now live.

    United Kingdom

    RateSetter ISA Milestone: Passes £200 Million in Subscriptions (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

    UK-based peer-to-peer lender RateSetter recently announced its ISA has now passed the milestone of attracting £200 million in subscriptions.

    “Investors have enjoyed an average annualised return of 4.5%, tax-free of course, since the RateSetter ISA launched in February 2018. The average RateSetter ISA balance stands at £11,000.”

    Funding Circle boss pocketed more than £4m last year (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

    FUNDING Circle founder Samir Desai (pictured) earned more than £4m last year, having cashed in some of his shares at the time of the peer-to-peer lender’s stock market flotation.

    Desai took home a salary of £210,000 last year, according to Funding Circle’s annual report, a four per cent increase from his salary of £202,000 in 2017.

    The majority of his total remuneration of £4.081m came from cashing in share options.

    Zopa rewrites outdated money idioms (The London Economic), Rated: AAA

    Each future-looking idiom challenges the status quo. For example, according to Zopa, the ‘signing for the bill’ gesture will be redundant soon. Instead, when people have finished their meal, people will be more likely to signal facial or iris recognition to the waiter. Jonesy gives his take and takes it one step further by illustrating a customer displaying his eyeball to request the bill.

    Source: The London Economic

    Fintech unicorns are leading job creation in London (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

    In 2018, there was a 61% increase in fintech job creation within London from the previous year, per a new report by Robert Walters, making it the fastest growing sector for vacancies in the city.

    The UK houses 25% of all fintech unicorns and their growth plans call for more talent. There are 29 fintech unicorns worldwide, seven of which are based in the UK, making the UK second only to San Francisco, which is home to nine.

    Over 30% of jobs in the UK’s fintech industry are for IT-related roles, compared with 24% in 2017. And fintech unicorns’ hiring for IT professionals increased 74% year-over-year (YoY).

    Source: Business Insider

    London to take San Francisco’s fintech unicorn crown (The Innovation Enterprise), Rated: A

    However, the report has predicted that London could take the lead as early as this year, as the city receives 39% of European fintech venture capital funding, with the runner-up, Berlin, taking just 21% of the total investment.

    With 50% against a global average of 33%, the UK also enjoys the highest rate of consumer fintech adoption of any Western country, only beaten by India and China, the report found.

    LendInvest gains £200m HSBC funding as it seeks home loan market entry (Verdict), Rated: A

    LendInvest, which operates an online marketplace for mortgages, has received an investment of £200m ($261m) from HSBC UK to support its foray into the regulated home loan sector.

    Peer-to-peer scheme for first-time buyers launches (FT Advisor), Rated: A

    Start-up company Stepladder is promoting a new way for first-time buyers to save for a house deposit.

    Arbuthnot Latham launches Arbuthnot Direct for those seeking long-term interest returns (Arbuthnot Email), Rated: B

    Arbuthnot Latham & Co., Limited (“Arbuthnot Latham”) is pleased to announce the launch of its new platform under the trading name of Arbuthnot Direct. Arbuthnot Direct offers fixed term deposits online, targeting retail customers who are seeking interest returns on their money over the longer term. The platform held a successful soft launch in February 2019 and has already met with a positive reception.

    China

    The rise and fall of P2P lending in China (Finextra), Rated: AAA

    It is worth mentioning that the size of China’s P2P industry is larger than that of the rest of the world combined, with outstanding loans of US$217.96BN.

    China’s online P2P lending industry grew rapidly between 2011 to 2015, with the number of P2P lenders growing from 50 to nearly 3,500 respectively.

    Trouble started brewing in China back in 2016, when statistics released by the Chinese Banking Regulatory Commission showed that about 40% of P2P lending platforms were in fact Ponzi schemes.

    This triggered the shutdown of P2P lending platforms; over 900 closed by the end of 2016. For 2018, only 1,021 providers remained in place.

    Source: Bloomberg News

    Shenzhen police arrest Zhang Wei, calling China Create Capital a ‘mafia-like gang’ (SCMP), Rated: A

    China Create Capital Limited, the investment holding company headed by the 46-year-old Heilongjiang native is a “mafia-style gang” involved in illegal fundraising, harassment, blackmail, illegal detention of people and the possession of firearms, the Shenzhen police said in a notice. The whereabouts of Zhang, who was arrested with 43 other executives of China Create, could not be ascertained.

    The arrests are the latest in the Chinese government’s crackdown on crime and corruption in the country’s financial system and capital markets, where 1,129 “mafia-like” syndicates were broken up across 10 provinces last year, with 4.94 billion yuan (US$737 million) of assets seized, according to the police. A number of Chinese oligarchs including Anbang Group’s

    former chairman Wu Xiaohui

    , CEFC Group’s founder Ye Jianming and financier Xiao Jianhua had fallen from grace since 2017.

    $ 60 Million and Rising: China’s Crypto Funds Try Lending to Beat Bear Market (CoinDesk), Rated: A

    These new crypto lenders include such notable names as Bixin Capital, FBG Capital and DGroup, founded by Dong Zhao, who made a name by operating one of the longest-running over-the-counter (OTC) trading desks in China. Along with a startup called Babelbank, these investors have originated a combined $60 million worth of loans over the last five months, denominated in cryptocurrencies or, in one firm’s case, Chinese yuan.

    European Union

    Klarna launches global customer authentication platform (Klarna), Rated: AAA

    Klarna today announced the launch of its global authentication platform — an aggregator with multiple global and local authentication solutions. The platform allows multinational businesses, including merchants and other banks, to provide a simple, secure and personalised customer authentication experience irrespective of market, through a one-time integration.

    Klarna Sees Payments as Evolving From Function to Engagement (WWD), Rated: A

    Klarna’s Hannah Bravo says customers chose brands based on payment options.

    This New Tool Is Helping Retailers Build Consumer Trust During Online Checkouts (Footwear News), Rated: B

    The Klarna platform enables businesses to choose from a range of global and local authentication methods so that they can find one that works best for their customer. Whether using SMS verification or emailed one-time passwords, brands and retailers can verify their customers’ identities with minimal interruption to the consumer’s shopping journey.

    International

    Drivers of Global Growth in FSB’s Shadow Banking (DBRS Email), Rated: AAA

    DBRS sees significant risks stemming from continued growth in shadow banking globally. Assets are now at $52 trillion globally, up from $30 trillion in 2010, according to the FSB. The U.S. has the largest concentration with 29% of global shadow banking assets. But, this is down from 48% in 2010, as other regions are growing faster.

    Summary highlights of the commentary include:

    • Shadow banking is still growing. This narrow, but rapidly growing, subset of nonbanks had assets of $52 trillion in 2017, up 75% from $30 trillion in 2010.
    • Since 2010, assets of nonbanks are also growing, up 61% to $185 trillion. That is 49% of the $378 trillion in total global assets in all financial institutions at the end of 2017, up significantly from 44% in 2010.
    • The key driver of this growth in nonbank assets is the expansion of OFIs. These OFIs are defined as all financial institutions that are NOT central banks, banks, insurance companies, pension funds, public financial institutions, or financial auxiliaries. Assets at these OFIs grew 71% since 2010 to a record $117 trillion in 2017, or just over 30% of assets in financial institutions globally.
    • By far, the largest segment of shadow banking globally is collective investment vehicles, which are subject to runs. These include fixed income funds, mixed funds, MMFs and hedge funds. Since 2010, this segment has grown by 130% to $36.7 trillion in assets. By contrast, growth in other segments has been less than $1 trillion, or even negative.

    Read the full report here.

    Crypto Lending Platform Salt Adds Support for Dash as Collateral (Crypto-Economy), Rated: A

    Cryptocurrency lending platform Salt will now be allowing its users to collateralize their Dash holdings including their Masternode staking coins to access loan facilities.

    India

    RentoMojo in talks to raise $ 40 million from GMO, others (livemint), Rated: A

    For RentoMojo, the latest fundraise comes almost two years after it raised $10 million in July 2017 from Bain Capital, Accel and Chiratae Ventures. Renauld Laplanche, chief executive of US-based Lending Club, also took part in his personal capacity.

    Asia

    Housing sector remains major source of complaints: BPKN (The Jakarta Post), Rated: A

    The BPKN received 154 complaints in the first quarter, most originating from the housing sector. BPKN communications and education coordinator Arief Safari said the agency had received 129 complaints on the housing sector in the first quarter, followed by six complaints on online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, three on banking and the remainder on various sectors, including travel and e-commerce.

    Batumbu to help finance SMEs (The Jakarta Post), Rated: A

    PT Berdayakan Usaha Indonesia has announced that it aims to help small and medium enterprises (SME) access financial capital through a partnership program with its digital platform Batumbu.

    MENA

    Authors:

    George Popescu
    Allen Taylor

    The post Thursday April 11 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

    Thursday March 21 2019, Weekly News Digest

    fintechs and personal loans

    News Comments Today’s main news: BlockFi hits $25M in deposits in 2 weeks. Cash-back ETF injects trouble into ETF market. PeerStreet expands product line. Funding Circle fund higher impairments drag returns. Dianrong blames Chinese regime for troubles. Today’s main analysis: New home equity loans do not significantly alter credit scores. Today’s thought-provoking articles: SoFi Money review. Can Citi, JPMorgan beat […]

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

    fintechs and personal loans

    News Comments

    United States

    United Kingdom

    China/Hong Kong

    Other

    News Summary

    United States

    BlockFi Receives $ 25 Million in Crypto Deposits in Just 2 Weeks After Launching Lending Products (CryptoGlobe), Rated: AAA

    BlockFi Lending LLC, a New York-based “secured non-bank lender” that provides cryptocurrency-backed loans in USD to digital asset investors, has revealed that its interest-generating deposit accounts have received over $25 million in cryptocurrency.

    SoFi Money Review: Online Checking (Nerdwallet), Rated: AAA

    SoFi Money is an online checking account by SoFi, a company best known for its student loan refinance loans. SoFi’s account has a top-of-the-line interest rate and no monthly or overdraft fees. There’s no free ATM network, but SoFi reimburses many third-party ATM fees and doesn’t charge its own. SoFi also boasts unique perks: free career counseling and financial planning sessions.

    Can Citi and JPM beat FinTech Personal Loans? (PeerIQ Email), Rated: AAA

    The personal loan market has grown rapidly since 2010 and the growth has been driven by FinTechs. 

    Source: TransUnion, PeerIQ

    “My Chase Plan” and “My Chase Loans” – a point-of-sale financing alternative and a personal loan product respectively – that will be offered to its existing credit card customers.

    LendingTree Study Finds New Home Equity Loans Do Not Significantly Alter Credit Scores (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

    Home prices in the United States have rebounded to new highs since the financial crisis. As a result, American homeowners are sitting on the largest amount of home equity in history — at just over $15 trillion dollars, according to the Federal Reserve.

    • The decline in scores averaged just 13 points. At the high end, scores declined by 24 in San Jose,Calif. The smallest decline was 5 points in San Diego. Borrowers had an average score of 735 to start, so the declines are quite negligible in terms of access to credit and may have marginal impacts on the cost of credit. The highest starting credit score was 752 in San Francisco, while the lowest was 712 in Indianapolis.
    • The decline took an average of 158 days to reach bottom, which is just over five months. St. Louis homeowners saw their credit scores reach their lowest points in an average time of 101 days (3 months), while the longest decline was for homeowners in Dallas at 211 days (7 months). Loans do not appear on credit reports immediately after closing. Typically, the lender starts reporting to the credit bureaus after your first payment, depending on the lender’s reporting cycle. Thus it may take about 60 days after closing or even longer for it show up and start affecting a score.
    • Scores recovered over an average of 163 days. This is also just over five months, so the time to fall and recover are about equal. The quickest time to recover was 102 days, or slightly over 3 months, in Cincinnati. Borrowers in Chicago had the longest recovery time of 243 days, just over 8 months.
    • Scores recover within a year and begin to move higher. The complete cycle to return to the credit score prior to the home equity loan takes 321 days, less than 11 months. The shortest cycle was in St. Louis at 211 days and the longest in Chicago at 443 days, about 15 months.

    As Cash-Back ETF Hits Market, Signs of Trouble Start to Mount (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

    Last week, one ETF upstart created a minor splash by doing what was once unthinkable — offering to pay investors to buy into its exchange-traded fund. That comes on the heels of eight fund providers — including JPMorgan Chase, Vanguard and BlackRock to name a few — all slashing fees in one of the industry’s most aggressive rounds of price cuts to date.

    The sub-zero fee giveaway by Salt Financial, which previously ran a single $11 million ETF, is widely seen as a marketing gimmick to drum up a little PR, get customers in the door and increase its assets under management. During the first year, investors will receive 50 cents for every $1,000 in a new low-volatility stock ETF — until it grows to $100 million. After a year, a management fee of 0.29 percent, or $2.90 per $1,000, could kick in.

    The race to zero, however, is very real. Fidelity Investments jump-started the no-fee push in August by offering index funds for free. In February, SoFi said it would waive charges on two planned ETFs for the first year. Last week, JPMorgan started selling America’s cheapest-ever ETF for the princely sum of 20 cents for every $1,000 invested. And BlackRock unveiled plans Wednesday to cut fees for large clients in one of its S&P 500 indexed mutual funds.

    PeerStreet Expands Product Line with Residential for Rent Loans (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

    PeerStreet, a platform for investing in real estate backed loans, today announced the launch of a new loan product for private lenders: Residential for Rent loans. Residential for Rent loans have a 30-year term so borrowers can secure long-term financing for residential rental properties. This launch is in response to key market conditions: as more people struggle to finance buying a home, the rental market has continued to grow.

    3 Big Reasons To Fill Out The FAFSA (Even If You Think You Earn Too Much) (Huffington Post), Rated: A

    One-quarter of families don’t complete the FAFSA, according to Sallie Mae’s 2018 How America Pays for College survey. Of those that don’t fill it out, 48 percent say it’s because they don’t believe they’ll qualify for financial aid.

    But they’re often wrong: An analysis by NerdWallet found that in 2017, students left an estimated $2.3 billion in federal financial aid on the table by not filling out the FAFSA.

    According to Elaine Rubin, senior contributor and communications specialist at private student loan marketplace Edvisors, most Americans are eligible for some type of federal aid. In fact, it’s available to anyone with a household income below $250,000 per year, CNBC reported.

    Madden lawsuit nears end, but online lenders still seek fix from regulators (American Banker), Rated: A

    An 8-year-old class action that wreaked havoc on the online lending industry is finally winding down, but the lobbying push in Washington to undo its impact shows no signs of abating.

    Lawyers in the case have filed a proposed settlement that would provide $9.8 million in cash and debt relief to as many as 58,000 consumers, setting up the final chapter in a lawsuit that is likely to be remembered best for the legal precedent it established.

    The State of Digital Engagement for Online Lending (LendIt), Rated: A

    A recent trend report by Clarity Services, a credit reporting provider, showed that online funded loan volumes grew by almost 500% between 2013 and 2017.

    How Far are Most in their Digital Transformation Strategy?

    • 54% of financial institutions have developed a digital strategy, but have not yet implemented it
    • 29% of financial institutions are currently developing a digital transformation strategy
    • Only 14% of financial institutions are in the process of implementing a digital transformation strategy

    How Much Will They Be Investing In Digital Transformation in the Next 12-18 Months?:

    • 65% are planning to increase spending by 10%
    • 26% are planning to increase spending by 1-9%
    • 6% have no plans to change spending

    What will They be investing in over the next 12-18 Months?

    • Replace or upgrade legacy IT systems — 88%
    • Reduce operational inefficiency — 76%
    • Improve customer experience — 74%

    X Financial’s Fourth Quarter Results Take Stock 5% Higher (Capital Watch), Rated: A

    The stock of X Financial (NYSE: XYF) jumped more than 5 percent Tuesday morning, to $6.55 per American depositary share, after the peer-to-peer lending marketplace announced improved revenue and profit for the fourth quarter, as well as a dividend for 2018.

    The Shenzhen-based company, which connects borrowers and investors on its platform, reported in a statement Monday evening that its revenue grew 18 percent year-over-year to $125.5 million during the three months through December.

    Its net income, X Financial said, was $35.2 million, or 22 cents per share, at a 53 percent increase from the same period of 2017.

    Why Corporates Cant Fund Early Pay Programs (Dynamic Discounting + SCF) (Spend Matters), Rated: A

    If you look at the graph below, 5% of S&P 500 companies hold more than half the overall cash; the other 95% of corporations have cash-to-debt levels that are the lowest in data going back to 2004, according to Wells Fargo research. We know who those 5% are — they are the GAFA companies: Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.

    Source:

    ZestFinance Using AI To Bring Fairness To Mortgage Lending (Forbes), Rated: A

    Discrimination in lending has long been a problem, shutting minority groups out of the home buying process.

    ZestFinance, the artificial intelligence software company focused on the credit market is trying to change that with ZAML Fair, a new software tool that aims to reduce the instances of biases and discrimination in lending.

    CoreLogic Launches PanoramIQ to Provide More Accurate and Complete Property Insights (CoreLogic), Rated: A

    CoreLogic, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, today announced PanoramIQ, an intelligent property solution that delivers a more complete view of property data with more current and reliable sources than public-record data alone. Utilizing a combination of public and proprietary property datasets, a unique property ID, machine learning and advanced analytics, PanoramIQ provides lenders, mortgage industry professionals and government entities with deeper, more accurate and complete property insights, allowing clients to make better decisions in a timely and efficient manner.

    White Oak Healthcare Finance Launches Real Estate Investment Vehicle with New Hires (ABL Advisor), Rated: A

    White Oak Healthcare Finance, LLC announced it will broaden its product offering and enter the healthcare real estate investment market.  White Oak hired Jeff Erhardt, Paul Nevala, Mike Treiber and John Brussard to build out the vehicle, which will initially invest up to $500MM and will focus on investments in seniors housing and skilled nursing properties using triple net leases and joint-venture RIDEA structures.

    Banks seek Congress’ help to block fintech path to ‘industrial’ charters  (Roll Call), Rated: A

    A bank industry group is lobbying Congress to block financial technology firms, such as online lender Social Finance Inc. and payment processor Square Inc., from obtaining an obscure form of a state bank charter that would let them operate nationally with little federal supervision.

    The Independent Community Bankers of America last week distributed a policy paper around Washington calling for an immediate moratorium on providing federal deposit insurance to industrial loan companies, or ILCs, which are chartered by only a few states — most notably Utah.

    Form S-3 Senmiao Technology Ltd (Street Insider), Rated: A

    Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: From time to time after this registration statement becomes effective.

    Debt Securities. We may offer debt securities, which may be secured or unsecured, senior, senior subordinated or subordinated, may be guaranteed by our subsidiaries, and may be convertible into shares of our common stock. We may issue debt securities separately or together with, upon conversion of or in exchange for other securities. It is likely that any debt securities issued will not be issued under an indenture.

    Figure Technologies, Inc. Expands Leadership Team as It Builds Out Financial Empowerment and Wealth Offerings (PR Newswire), Rated: B

    Figure Technologies, Inc., a fintech company in both the home equity and blockchain space, announces that John Sweeney has joined the company as the head of Wealth and Asset Management, along with Dr. Michael Dooley, who joined as chief economist. These hires reflect Figure’s commitment to empowering consumers and building out products to improve their financial well-being.

    LendPro Hires Belinda Kelton as Vice President of Sales (LendPro Email), Rated: B

    LendPro LLC, a provider of Lending-as-a-Service (LaaS) products and platforms for retailers, has hired retail industry veteran Belinda Kelton as its Vice President of Sales, the company announced today. Kelton is the latest of many new hires for the fast-growing fintech company, which recently moved to a new location to accommodate new staff members and provide the best service possible to customers.

    Corporate Counsel, Commercial (Go In House), Rated: B

    Affirm is looking for a business-minded Corporate Counsel, Commercial with broad expertise in complex commercial transactions. This role will report to Affirm’s Associate General Counsel.
    United Kingdom

    Funding Circle fund sees higher impairments continue to drag returns (AltFi), Rated: AAA

    The Funding Circle SME Income fund saw just a marginally positive performance in February with Net Asset Value growth of just 0.05 per cent as impairments continued to hurt performance.

    Impairments reduced NAV returns by 0.7 per cent in February, said analysts at Liberum, in line with the average monthly impairment rate of recent months.

    Revolut Is Testing the Limits of Finance (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

    Storonsky is getting a taste of the scrutiny that lies ahead as he tries to upend the world of banking with Revolut, his 3-1/2 year-old startup. The U.K.’s financial regulator is examining why the digital bank last summer temporarily turned off a system designed to automatically block suspicious transactions.

    It was valued at $1.7 billion at its last fundraising and now has over 4 million customers after new accounts tripled in 2018. That’s about three times more than the two lenders combined and the same number of customers as foreign-exchange business TransferWise, which is four years older.

    Source: Innovate Finance

    CrowdProperty launches equity sale after increasing loan book by £100m (PlaceTech), Rated: AAA

    The specialist peer-to-peer lender has secured £100m of loan capital as it launches a public crowdfunding campaign, already oversubscribed, that values the business at more than £15m.

    Having raised £100m from an unnamed “major institution”, CrowdProperty will use the funds to expand the number of property projects it backs over the next 12-24 months.

    OakNorth reports £33.9m profit for 2018 and commits to donating 1% of all future net profit to charitable causes and social entrepreneurship (OakNorth Email), Rated: A

    IFISA Guide: SME loans (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

    Ablrate’s IFISA offers returns ranging between 10 and 15 per cent, enabling investors to fund asset-backed loans to UK businesses.

    ArchOver’s IFISA enables investors to fund secured business loans and enjoy tax-free returns of up to 10 per cent per year.

    MoneyThing’s IFISA is one of the highest-paying tax wrappers that invests in secured business loans, offering annual returns of up to  13 per cent.

    Assetz Capital

    Returns vary depending on the account, going from 4.1 per cent to 6.25 per cent on its auto-invest products, and up to 15.5 per cent with its manual lending option.

    Funding Circle

    The minimum investment in this flexible IFISA is £1,000.

    LendingCrowd

    The Growth and Income ISAs automatically spread investors’ money across a range of loans and have variable target rates of six per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively.

    Specialist lender funding will be the key issue for 2019 – LendInvest (Mortgage Solutions), Rated: A

    The situation is a big reminder to lenders that it is crucial to concentrate on building a diverse range of funding sources, rather than just one single route.

    It’s something that we have put a lot of work into at LendInvest, as it allows us to lend with confidence, knowing that the funds we have promised to a borrower will be there.

    The firm sent out an email on 24 January 2019 suggesting that recipients should have a “stockpile ready” as some believe Brexit “could affect the amount of food available,” while offering a £5 promotional discount on a loan.

    Why investors are fleeing the ‘fear and greed’ of stock markets for peer-to-peer loans (The Telegraph), Rated: A

    Investors are ditching the stock market in favour of bundled loans sold by fledgling platforms that are yet to be tested by a financial crisis.

    The top 20 UK places for high net worth earners (Citywire), Rated: B

    Nearly two fifths of the UK’s top earners now live in London, according to research from peer to peer lending platform easyMoney.

    China/Hong Kong

    China’s Online Lender Dianrong Blames Chinese Regime for its Woes (NTD), Rated: AAA

    Dianrong, one of China’s biggest peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders, is laying off staff and shutting stores. The company blamed the Chinese regime for its troubles and said the absence of clear-cut policies was proving to be a heavy burden.

    Dianrong shut down 60 of its 90 offline stores and laid off an estimated 2,000 employees, Reuters reported in early March.

    Pintec’s Stock Rises on Steady Results During Quarter of IPO (Capital Watch), Rated: A

    Pintec Technology Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: PT) gained 15 cents in trading by midday after reporting a slight increase in revenue and narrowed losses for the fourth quarter.

    The Beijing-based tech platform facilitating financial services said on Wednesday that its revenue in the three months through December was $32.9 million, 2 percent higher year-over-year. Its net loss was $1.2 million, a 10 percent decrease from the same period of 2017. Loss per share was 1 cent.

    For the full year, Pintec reported revenue of $153.1 million, 85 percent higher from the preceding 12 months, and profit of $1.1 million in contrast to a loss in 2017.

    KKR Raising First Asia Real Estate Fund, Targeting $ 1.5 Billion (U.S. News), Rated: A

    Global investment powerhouse KKR & Co Inc is raising its first Asia-focused real estate fund, targeting $1.5 billion as it looks to deepen its real estate portfolio in the region, said people with knowledge of the matter.

    Investment firms raised $18.6 billion in 26 Asia-focused real estate funds last year, the highest since 2008, according to data provider Preqin. KKR’s U.S.-based rival Blackstone Group raised the region’s biggest real estate fund last year at $7.1 billion.

    China and distressed debt top DB’s hedge funds tastes test (City Wire Selector), Rated: A

    Alternative investors are increasingly drawn to Asian hedge funds and distressed strategies, according to the latest Alternative Investment Survey from Deutsche Bank.

    The 2019 survey canvassed the views of 425 asset allocators running $1.7 trillion of hedge fund assets in 28 countries.

    European Union

    Finnest and Invesdor Merge to Combine Debt and Equity Operations in Europe (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

    Finnest, an Austria based Fintech that provides debt capital to small and medium-sized firms, has announced a planned merger with Finland based Invesdor Oy. The newly formed company will see the combination of a leading Nordic equity crowdfunding platform and a top online lender serving the DACH region (Deutschland, Austria, Switzerland). The two companies will now be able to offer a full stack of debt and equity services and investments across Northern Europe as well as more numerous options for investors.

    Invesdor claims over 50,000 registered users as well as a MiFID II license for 28 European countries – the first crowdfunding platform to receive approval. Invesdor reports investors, both institutional and individual, from over 150 different countries. Invesdor currently offers a unique financing portfolio in the market, from equity to loans and bonds to IPOs.

    Bitbond to Work with BitGo for Germany’s First Security Token Offering (Bitbond), Rated: A

    Bitbond has launched Germany’s first Security Token Offering with a BaFin approved Prospectus and will be using  BitGo’s Business Wallet. The STO has a hard cap of EUR 100 million (~USD 113 million) and will conclude in May. Thousands of investors have already joined to take advantage of early bird discounts.

    The STO marks a significant milestone for the crypto asset industry, not only because it has an approved prospectus, but also because it offers tokenized debt with a predetermined maturity. Bitbond Token (BB1) holders will receive quarterly and annual payments for 10 years, after which Bitbond will buy back the token at its original value of EUR 1 per token.

    India

    Top 5 sectors that need upskilling: How to stay relevant in age of disruption? (Indian Express), Rated: A

    The banking sector is witnessing a massive growth owing to the launch of connected products and services, business innovation and the rise of the middle class along with the emergence of new fintech areas of mobile payments, digital wallets and P2P lending. Technologies such as chatbots, blockchains and automation through robotics powered by AI are transforming the sector.

    CRYPTO EXCHANGE COINDCX RAISES SEED FUNDING FROM BAIN CAPITAL VENTURES (Coin News Span), Rated: B

    Bengaluru-based client leasing startup RentoMojo has raised $10 Mn serial B funding from Bain Capital Ventures and Renaud Laplanche.

    Asia

    Look out for 2019’s top 7 lending startups (e27), Rated: AAA

    As of 2019, there are still 2.45 billion underbanked and unbanked people in the world. The more innovative lending companies there are, the faster this market will be covered and served.

    October.eu (formerly Lendix) is an innovative, easy-to-use, and intuitive peer-to-peer platform for lending and investing.

    The Dharma team works on a platform that lets businesses build lending products on the Ethereum blockchain.

    The governing idea of Kabbage is that funding shouldn’t be complicated for businesses. So, the company makes an effort to provide entrepreneurs with up to US$250,000 in loans for which you can allegedly qualify for in just 10 minutes or at most, a day.

    Founded in 2014, TurnKey Lender has already become the market’s leading intelligent all-in-one lending automation platform.

    The name SoFi comes from social finance and it’s another great example of a successful peer-to-peer lending operation. Founded in 2011, the company is already a huge market player with US$30 billion worth of funded loans and 600 thousand members.

    Affirm goes a different route than most alternative lenders. The idea behind it is enabling in-house financing for retail businesses. So, the store’s customers get an instant loan with zero to 30 per cent interest rates.

    With quite a unique approach, Lendio offers small business an opportunity to get services and credit products from lenders with the best conditions. It’s a marketplace with more than 75 lenders on board.

    Vietnam is the region’s fintech hub (The ASEAN Post), Rated: AAA

    Vietnam’s strong economic growth in recent years has led to the flourishing of the nation’s digital economy. The country’s economy in 2017 was deemed to be one of the best performing in the region. Its economy saw a 6.8 percent increase in gross domestic product (GDP) – higher than the government’s initial target of 6.7 percent – making it one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia.

    Vietnam currently has 54 percent of its population on the internet and the number is expected to grow further in the coming years.

    Data from Vietnam Briefing shows that 39,580 start-ups entered the Vietnamese market in just the first four months of 2017, a 14 percent increase from the first quarter of 2016. Within the start-up scene, the fintech sector has become the most attractive for investments, receiving US$129 million in 2016.

    Travelstop Targets Fintech SMEs with Business Travel Management Platform (Fintech News), Rated: A

    Co-founded by former Expedia employees, Singapore-based Travelstop is a modern, artificial intelligence (AI) powered SaaS platform that simplifies business travel, automates expense reporting for businesses in Asia, and offers insights to business owners.

    The platform is quickly gaining traction from the region’s startups and fintech community, helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and high-growth organizations including Funding Societies, Fintech News Network, RedDoorz, S P Jain School of Global Management and Dot Property better to manage their business travels.

    Asia has the largest share of mobile internet traffic, with 61% of its population using mobile devices to go online.

    How Ovo Has Grown to be Indonesia’s Largest Digital Payments Platform (Entrepreneur), Rated: A

    After online stores, Indonesia’s leading digital payments platform Ovo has been making strides into offline stores, increasing the number of merchants that accept the payment method.

    OVO has reportedly acquired local peer-to-peer lending company Taralite, a move that will pave the way for OVO to branch out into the lending business which is seen to be a potential profit-generator for the company.

    TurnKey Lender Opens a New Office in Kuala Lumpur (Digital Journal), Rated: A

    TurnKey Lender, a provider of intelligent lending automation, decision management, and risk mitigation solutions, announces the opening of a new office in the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. Its main goal will be to physically represent TurnKey Lender and support the company’s operations in Asia.

    With internet penetration at 85.7% in 2018, the country is perfectly positioned for the rapid growth of alternative lending initiatives in areas like peer-to-peer lending and in-house financing.

    Golden Gate Ventures ties up with Hanwha to invest in Asian startups (SDF-KH), Rated: B

    Golden Gate and Hanwha will focus on startups that are raising fund for ‘Series B’ stage.

    Singapore-based Golden Gate Ventures confirmed on Tuesday that it has teamed up with South Korea-based Hanwha Asset Management to invest in Southeast Asian technology startups.

    Authors:

    George Popescu
    Allen Taylor

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

    Thursday April 26 2018, Daily News Digest

    Hong Kong IPO

    News Comments Today’s main news: FTC says LendingClub misled customers on fees. Credit Karma expands ID theft monitoring to include dark web data. Two startup robos were top performers in Q1. Shanlin Finance leaders charged with operating Ponzi scheme. TransferWise launches borderless accounts in European nations. Today’s main analysis: Small-dollar loans. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Elevate’s safe credit. Hong Kong makes […]

    Hong Kong IPO

    News Comments

    United States

    United Kingdom

    China

    European Union

    International

    Other

    News Summary

    United States

    Lending Club misled customers about hidden fees, regulators say (CNN Money) Rated: AAA

    The Federal Trade Commission said the company, which connects borrowers to investors without banks in the middle, “lures” customers with the promise of no hidden fees.

    Instead, Lending Club deducts money up front — hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars, the FTC said.

    The FTC also accused Lending Club (LC) of falsely leading customers to believe they have been approved for a loan.

    The FTC further accused Lending Club of withdrawing double payments from the accounts of its customers and charging customers who had canceled auto-payments or already paid off their loans.

    LendingClub (LC) Said FTC Allegations are Unwarranted (Street Insider) Rated: A

    Following an inquiry that began in May 2016, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) brought an action against LendingClub(NYSE: LC) earlier today in the Northern District of California alleging that certain LendingClub practices do not, or in the past did not, comply with the requirements of the FTC and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Acts.

    LendingClub believes that the allegations in the FTC’s complaint are legally and factually unwarranted. The company is disappointed that it was not possible to resolve this matter constructively with the agency’s current leadership and intends to oppose the claims and work towards an early resolution of the matter in Federal Court. Additional information about the complaint and LendingClub’s response are on its blog.

    Why LendingClub Corp Stock Plunged Today (Motley Fool) Rated: B

    Shares of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending company LendingClub Corp (NYSE:LC) are down by about 15% as of 3:30 p.m. EDT after the Federal Trade Commission charged the company with deceiving customers.

    Elevate Provides Safe Credit To People Banks Can’t Serve With FICO (Forbes) Rated: AAA

    Providing credit to 160 million Americans who are being ignored by banks sounds like a great business. And indeed, Elevate, which does just that, has been growing faster than Lending Club, SoFi, or OnDeck and is more profitable than any of them, said Ken Rees, the company’s CEO .

    “Forty percent of Americans show monthly income swings of 30%. The majority of Americans need access to emergency credit but the banks have pulled back. Credit is particularly important because they have very low savings.”

    Credit Karma expands its identity theft monitoring tool to include dark web data (Tech Crunch) Rated: AAA

    After introducing a free identity monitoring tool for its users late last year, Credit Karma is widening the scope of its fraud-fighting scans to include data from the dark web.

    Credit Karma’s  existing ID-monitoring tool searches 4.5 billion public breaches for a user’s personal data, but the improved service will scour additional breaches culled from the dark web. Added up, the tool will now search through 13 billion data breaches.

    The company estimates that 65 percent of its users have experienced a data breach, whether they know it or not, so Credit Karma is well-positioned to issue a wake-up call about protecting identifying information online.

    2 New Robo-Advisors Among the Top Performers in Q1 (ThinkAdvisor) Rated: AAA

    Two relative newcomers to the robo-advisor space are among the industry’s top three performers in the first quarter, according to the latest Robo Report from BackEnd Benchmarking.

    SoFi Wealth Management, which launched in May 2017 as an offshoot from the SoFi online lending platform, took first place; TIAA SRI, the socially responsible investment portfolio of its TIAA Personal Portfolio robo, placed third; and sandwiched between the two was Schwab Intelligent Portfolios.

    All three robos lost money in the first quarter in their taxable, balanced portfolios, split roughly 60/40 between stocks and bonds, but they performed better than other digital advisors and the overall stock market, which was down 0.76%, for the S&P 500. Their losses ranged from 0.14% for SoFi and 0.45% for TIAA SRI.

    Schwab Intelligent Portfolios excelled largely because of its fixed income allocation, which included high-yield bonds and international debt, according to the Robo Report. It placed first for fixed income performance not only for the first quarter of 2018 but for the one-year and two-year trailing periods.

    Source: Think Advisor

    Small-dollar loans (Lexology) Rated: AAA

    The Trump Administration has also taken notable steps to ease the burden placed on the payday lending industry. These include terminating the Obama-era “Operation Choke Point,” which was designed to discourage banks from doing business with payday lenders,11 as well as removing payday-bank partnership restrictions for at least one payday lender.12 This signals a significant departure from regulatory constraints put in place a decade ago prohibiting affiliations between national banks and payday lenders that sought to circumvent state interest rate caps.13

    In addition to established market participants targeting borrowers with high credit scores, new internet-based startups are offering small-dollar loans to non-prime borrowers, directly targeting the payday lenders’ customer base. Fintechs aim to compete with traditional payday lenders by marketing a more customer-centric approach, as well as flexible terms and lower fees. These new market entrants generally rely on the use of AI-driven scoring products and non-traditional data analytics to assess a borrower’s creditworthiness. In addition to fair lending considerations, these new online startups generally rely on mobile devices and related technology to host their software and undertake lending decisions, thereby raising privacy and cybersecurity concerns.

    Source: Lexology

    Navient reports higher earnings in first quarter (Delaware Business Now) Rated: A

    Wilmington-based Navient reported higher earnings in the first quarter as the company expanded its segment reporting to reflect a broader array of businesses.

    Results that included the origination of $500 million of private education refinance loans, a 43 percent decrease in private education loan charge-offs and a 32 percent increase in business processing fee revenue from the year-ago quarter.

    For the first-quarter 2018, GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) net income was $126 million compared with $88 million ($0.30 diluted earnings per share) for the year-ago quarter.

    California merchant accuses lender of ‘rent-a-bank’ scheme (Rueters) Rated: A

    Utah-based Celtic Bank and Georgia-based lender Kabbage Inc have been hit with a proposed class action accusing them of creating a “rent-a-bank” arrangement to issue high-interest loans to small businesses in California and evade the state’s usury laws.

    The case was removed by Celtic Bank to federal court in Los Angeles on Tuesday after being filed last month in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

    How employees build and shape the rock-solid cultures at 5 local tech companies (Built In Chicago) Rated: A

    What is the foundation of Enova’s culture?

    If I may grossly generalize and speak for the majority of the millennial workforce, workplace culture is a big job-hunting factor. Of course, we want to make decent salaries and have access to good health insurance. We also want to be spending those 40 or more hours per week with people we enjoy working with, tackling independent and collaborative work, constantly learning new things, and developing our skills — all of which Enova does a great job of cultivating.

    What is the foundation of Avant’s culture?

    Avant’s culture is based a lot around letting the best idea win. No matter what part of the business someone is in, if they have an idea that really shines through and will resolve the issue at hand, they are heard. In my experience, even if you’re not in your domain, people will listen to you as long as you come in with a clear spec. If you ask for something and have a good explanation as to why it’s needed, you can get it.

     

     

    CEO of student loan marketplace LendEDU admits the name of the founder of a partner site is fake (CNBC) Rated: A

    A spokesman cited in publications, including a CNBC story in March about students using their financial aid money to invest in cryptocurrencies, is a fake, the CEO of a partner website has admitted.

    Nate Matherson, CEO of student loan refinancing company, LendEDU, said he started The Student Loan Report — studentloans.net — in 2016.

     

    Where to Get a Loan of $ 5,000 or Less (Student Loan Hero) Rated: A

    Many online lenders have personal loans that offer more flexibility. Some lenders set borrowing minimums as low as $1,000.

    Pros: Some online lenders offer flexible repayment plans. For example, Avant allows you to make changes to your upcoming payments online, including the amount and date of your current or future payments. The company says it’s willing to work with you if you’re unable to make a payment, making it easier to repay your loan.

    Kirsten Gillibrand Unveils A Public Option For Banking (Huffington Post) Rated: A

    Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is introducing legislation Wednesday that would require every U.S. post office to provide basic banking services, an ambitious step aimed at improving the lives of Americans with limited financial resources.

    The postal system’s 30,000 locations touch every community. A majority ― 59 percent ― are in so-called banking deserts, or zip codes that have either no bank branches or just one.

    Upgrade Personal Loans Review: Low Rates and Free Credit Monitoring (Student Loan Hero) Rated: A

    Upgrade is an online lender that primarily offers unsecured personal loans between $1,000 and $50,000. You can use these loans for a variety of purposes, including home improvement, debt consolidation, or a big purchase.

    As unsecured loans, these personal loans don’t require any collateral.

    Source: Student Loan Hero

    How to Cope With the High Costs of Infertility (US News) Rated: A

    According to the National Survey of Family Growth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in eight couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy and more than 85,000 women in the U.S. undergo in vitro fertilization each year.

    According to a 2015 study about the sentiment, costs and financial impact of fertility treatments in the U.S. by Prosper Marketplace, a peer-to-peer lending marketplace, nearly half of those polled said that prices impacted the level of treatment they sought. Almost 34 percent of those women surveyed had to stop treatment due to the financial burden. Meanwhile, 70 percent of participants reported acquiring some degree of debt in their quest to conceive with more than 26 percent taking on over $30,000 of debt. The cost of treatments was also the single largest factor for those respondents who initially decided to delay fertility treatment at nearly 82 percent.

    Washington Wants to Weaken Bank Rules. Not Every Regulator Agrees. (The New York Times) Rated: A

    In recent weeks, federal banking regulators have proposed softening a requirement that puts a hard limit on how much the largest banks can borrow. The rule, known as the supplementary leverage ratio, requires that banks prepare for a disaster by maintaining a certain level of capital on their balance sheets based on their total size.

    Banks have long complained that the rule is too restrictive and makes it harder for them to do business, including lending, in important markets. They have asserted that the ratio is too blunt of an instrument and often the strictest of the various capital requirements that were put in place after the crisis.

    Which Is Best: REITs or Real Estate Crowdfunding? (US News) Rated: A

    Who can invest in REITs and real estate crowdfunding? The best investors for REITs and real estate crowdfunding might not be the same. Joseph Hogue, chartered financial analyst and owner of Crowd 101, a crowdfunding website, says that although real estate crowdfunding is less work than direct investment in properties, it still involves more due diligence than REIT investing.

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of REITs and real estate crowdfunding? For hands-on investors, who want to customize their real estate investing, crowdfunding fits the bill, says Javier Benson, senior vice president of strategy and implementation at crowdfunding site RealtyShares. RealtyShares specializes in funding commercial real estate projects valued at more than $50 million, certainly not a market for the individual investor.

    Benson summarizes the benefits of real estate crowdfunding: “lower fee loads, increased transparency and the opportunity to select individual projects.”

    Lenders reject 9% of CT loan applications (Hartford Business) Rated: A

    Mortgage lenders rejected 9 percent of loan applications in recent years from Greater Hartford borrowers, which is the nation’s 10th worst denial rate, according to a recent study.

    The study by national lending exchange marketplace Lending Tree said lenders denied mortgage shoppers in Hartford, West Hartford and East Hartford at a high rate mainly due to insufficient debt-to-income ratios and collateral.

    Hartford’s would-be borrowers ranked second in the nation for cities where collateral issues resulted in their mortgage denial, which amounts to 24 percent of its denials.

    LendingTree and COMPLY2018 Announce the Kraken Innovation Award (PR Newswire) Rated: B

    COMPLY2018 announces that LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, will award one company as The Most Innovative Company during the annual RegTech and Compliance Conference May 16-17 in New York City.

    United Kingdom

    Growth Street Celebrates Full FCA Authorization & New GrowthLine Lending Product: Need to Borrow £2M? (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

    UK alternative finance firm Growth Street has been granted full FCA authorization,  a significant milestone for Growth Street, which had been operating as an Appointed Representative of Resolution Compliance Limited since 2016.

    Growth Street has simultaneously rolled out an update to its flagship business lending product, GrowthLine. The firm is now accepting applications from businesses looking to borrow up to £2M, a substantial increase from the previous maximum limit of £1M.

    Borrowers unaware of how to check loan providers as scams increase (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

    A THIRD of personal loan applicants have admitted they weren’t confident about how to check if their provider was legitimate, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed.

    Research by the City watchdog found 36 per cent of those who took out a loan product in the past three years didn’t do any checks to ensure the legitimacy of their loan provider.

    The FCA has revealed that more than £3.5m has been lost to loan fee fraud and said reports to its consumer helpline on this issue had increased by 44 per cent.

    China

    Eight charged in China over ‘Ponzi scheme posing as P2P lender’ that took US$ 9 billion (China Morning Post) Rated: AAA

    Eight ringleaders of the Shanghai-based Shanlin Finance have been charged with illegally obtaining deposits and taken into custody, according to local public prosecutor the Shanghai Pudong district People’s Procuratorate, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.

    The scheme was disguised as a peer-to-peer lending platform, police said. Shanlin’s online lending platforms and mobile apps have been suspended from service.

    Big Bang Means Buyer Beware in Hong Kong IPOs (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

    Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. will allow innovative companies that use shares with weighted voting rights to apply for IPOs starting April 30, and will also admit unprofitable biotech firms. That’s a landmark departure from the exchange’s longstanding adherence to the one-share-one-vote principle and the requirement for a three-year profit track record.

    China has also opened the door for companies listed on its National Equities Exchange and Quotations market – an over-the-counter trading venue that’s developed something of a reputation as a casino – to sell H shares in Hong Kong.

    Looser entry rules will create a vastly different market.

    The Fall of Peer-to-Peer Lending in China (Caixin Global) Rated: A

    P2P lending, which was designed to bypass traditional lending by matching individual borrowers and lenders, began to flourish on the Chinese mainland in 2011 as the government encouraged the wider use of technology to expand financial services to small businesses and individuals. At P2P lending’s peak in late 2015, there were more than 3,300 platforms operating, according to Wandaizhijia, a portal site that tracks the sector.

    However, due to the absence of unified regulations, a great proportion of P2P lenders began collecting cash from investors, offering high returns. A market worth more than 1 trillion yuan ($158 billion) quickly developed.

    China’s online lenders reel from industry shake-out (Financial Times) Rated: A

    A survey by FT Confidential Research shows the online lending industry in China continues to consolidate from new regulations; the days of significant growth and platform expansion have ended as the government looks to weed out the smaller players; since 2016 the government has capped borrowing limits, shut down secondary markets and forced platforms to file with local regulators

    European Union

    Fintech unicorn Transferwise launches a ‘borderless’ account in Sweden, Finland and Denmark (Business Insider Nordic) Rated: AAA

    Transferwise is today rolling out a “borderless” consumer account and linked debit card, which will let people hold money in multiple currencies.

    The service, which Transferwise says is the first one of its kind, has been openly trialed among a few thousand customers since January, and goes live globally including in Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Norway will follow later on.

    This means that people will be able to transfer and spend money abroad, with little or no exchange or mark-up fees. They will also be able to make withdrawals through a Mastercard debit card. The debit card will me made available for larger businesses later in 2018.

    RBS plans to move 1m users to new challenger bank, says report (AltFi News) Rated: A

    According to an insider at the Royal Bank of Scotland, the bank has set an internal target of switching more than 1m users from Natwest to its latest project, a “next generation mobile-only bank”, in time for its debut in the third quarter of 2018.

    In another interesting move, the insider has said that RBS’ mobile-only bank will be pursuing a marketplace business model, aiming to forge third-party partnerships as its primary source of revenue over lending. This is a model that is now well-known in the digital banking sector, hailed by dominant players like Monzo and Starling Bank as the future of next generation banking.

    GDPR and financial advice: Processing data on children (Professional Adviser) Rated: A

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) makes special mention of children and, for the purposes of the regulation, consent cannot be granted without parental approval by anyone under the age of 13. Upon their 13thbirthday, data subjects can freely consent to how their data is processed – in other words, they can sign up to newsletters and appropriate alerts.

    Unlikely as it may be that a 13-year-old will be signing up for newsletters from financial advisers, advice firms will still be processing large amounts of data on under-13s. Taking Intelligent Office as an example, there are currently more than 75,000 records of people under the age of 13 and so it is important that appropriate checks are in place and that parental consent has been granted at the beginning of the process.

    Deposit Solutions shows potential of open banking (Euromoney) Rated: A

    However, don’t tell that to Deposit Solutions. The Hamburg-based provider of an open-banking platform that lets deposit-rich banks offer their account holders insured savings products from other banks is growing fast. It launched its own business-to-consumer marketplace Zinspilot in September 2015 and by the end of 2016 had transmitted $1 billion in deposits.

    Deposit Solutions also has 50 banks in 16 European countries on its B2B platform. These include Deutsche Bank, FFB – the German subsidiary of Fidelity – and MünchenerHyp in Germany, and Atom Bank and Close Brothers in the UK.

    So-called product banks, such as Atom, that are seeking funding, but don’t want to invest in a traditional deposit-gathering infrastructure, can offer terms to so-called client banks, such as Deutsche, with lots of customers, but already an excess of deposits.

    International

    Inside Santander’s plans to digitize money (Tearsheet) Rated: AAA

    The Spanish banking giant’s U.K. arm recently launched One Pay FX, a mobile payments service for its U.K. debit card holders that want to send payments to people in Euro Zone countries and the U.S. It’s the first market-ready product built on blockchain technology, Ripple’s xCurrent protocol, for retail customers. It had been running as a pilot for employees for the last 18 months.

    Santander, one of the founding members of R3 CEV, a prominent consortium of banks investing in the company’s blockchain technology for financial applications, soon became one of the first members to exit the group as it concentrated on other payments-focused group work like the Utility Settlement Coin — “a tokenized version of central bank money,” in Faura’s words — and the Global Payments Steering Group.

    Source: Tearsheet

    This MBA Loan Provider Is Helping International Students Start New Careers Abroad (Business Because) Rated: A

    According to BusinessBecause data, 90% of MBA applicants would consider studying abroad. At the same time, over 60% say they wouldn’t be able to pursue an MBA without financial aid.

    Prodigy Finance has lent more than $505 million in loans to over 10,300 students globally. Those loans have enabled international students such as Alex Brack, originally from Brazil and a recent MBA graduate for The F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College, to thrive.

    ZPER Secures Crypto Mobile Wallet with Trustonic (Global Banking and Finance Review) Rated: B

    Following an increase in incidents such as the January 2018 theft of $425 million from Coincheck Inc, ZPER, the decentralised peer-to-peer (P2P) financial ecosystem, is launching the most secure cryptocurrency wallet available. ZPER is achieving this by embedding advanced security solutions from app and device security leader, Trustonic, to provide best-in-class protection. This move is in response to growing concerns about the vulnerability of cryptocurrencies when stored in exchanges.

    Australia

     

    Instant cash loan machines may target most vulnerable with quick dollars, financial counsellor says (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Rated: A

    The emergence of instant cash loan machines across parts of New South Wales has sparked fears about low-income families being potentially caught in a debt trap.

    The machines, which look like ATMs, only require identification and bank details before users are approved for cash loans almost immediately.

    Financial counsellors have expressed concern about the devices, which they say appear to be popping up in low socio-economic areas.

    India

     

    RentoMojo is using machine learning to create credit profiles of users (Tech Circle) Rated: AAA

    It raised $10 million (Rs 64.3 crore) in a Series B round of funding led by Bain Capital Ventures and Renaud Laplanche, a French-American entrepreneur. The company had earlier raised $2 million in a pre-Series A round from Accel Partners and IDG Ventures India in November 2016.

    Asia

    Emerging Asian leaders in Blockchain and Cryptocurrency to watch out (Finextra) Rated: A

    Crowd-Genie, an Asia-wide cross-border lending platform, concluded its ICO on March 1, raising over $5.5 million. Under the stewardship of CEO and Co-Founder,Akshay Mehra, Genie is aiming to build a private capital hub using smart contracts to make borrowing safer, cheaper and more efficient. Mehra is certified in CMFAS by the MAS and has over 15 years industry experience. His goal of creating a tokenized lending platform puts him at the forefront of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology in Asia.

    Under Mehra’s leadership, Crowd Genie’s goal is to develop a Business Loans Asset Exchange on which lenders can enhance their liquidity by transferring asset ownership. Crowd Genie Financial Services Pte. Ltd. is one of a handful of licensed platforms in Singapore to hold a ‘Dealing in Securities’ license by MAS and GenieICO’s token – CGC – was listed on the Cobinhood exchange on March 19.

    Latin America

    Brazilian bank IPO tests disruption potential of fintech firms (Reuters) Rated: AAA

    The first initial public offering (IPO) by a Brazilian retail bank in nearly a decade, set to price on Thursday, will test if investors expect new technologies to give smaller lenders a fighting chance against Brazil’s dominant big four banks.

    Banco Inter SA, a tiny mortgage lender that has reinvented itself as a purely online bank, is the first in a wave of feisty digital challengers planning to go public – and looking to trade at higher multiples than many of Brazil’s largest lenders.

    Authors:

    George Popescu
    Allen Taylor

    Wednesday February 14 2018, Daily News Digest

    OnDeck gross revenue

    News Comments Today’s main news: OnDeck becomes profitable. NepFin launches first online commercial lending platform for U.S. market. MoneyLion has 2 million customers. Sequoia China leads $40M DataVisor Series C. Moody’s reviews CommonBond for upgrade. Today’s main analysis: Review of OnDeck Q4 2017 earnings results. Today’s thought-provoking articles: The Future of Lending. Is investing RateSetter Isa worth it? Genie ICO: The […]

    OnDeck gross revenue

    News Comments

    United States

    United Kingdom

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    European Union

    International

    Australia

    India

    Asia

    News Summary

    United States

    OnDeck swings to profit, eyes second bank partnership (American Banker), Rated: AAA

    The New York-based small-business lender recorded net income of $5.1 million in the quarter that ended Dec. 31, which compared with a $35.9 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2016.

    OnDeck, which has recorded $94.5 million losses over the last two years, is cutting costs in an effort to achieve profitability.

    Review of OnDeck Q4 2017 Earnings Results (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

    In the fourth quarter they generated $5 million of GAAP profit. To put this in perspective, this is $41 million better than the prior year period. This puts them on solid footing as they look towards priorities for 2018. Originations for the quarter were $546 million, up 3% from the prior quarter.

    Source: Lend Academy

    Gross revenue came in at $87.7 million, up 7% year over year. Gain on sale revenue or revenue from loans sold on OnDeck’s marketplace to investors totaled $0.6 million. Other income totaled $3.5 million, up slightly from $3.4 million in the previous quarter.

    Source: Lend Academy
    Source: Lend Academy

    Full Year 2018

    • Gross revenue between $370 million and $382 million.
    • GAAP Net income (loss) attributable to OnDeck between $(2) million and $10 million.
    • Adjusted Net income between $16 million and $28 million.

    First Quarter 2018

    • Gross revenue between $86 million and $90 million.
    • GAAP Net income (loss) attributable to OnDeck between $(5.5) million and $(1.5) million.
    • Adjusted Net income between $1 million and $5 million.

    OnDeck Flips To Profitability Much To The Market’s Delight (PYMNTS), Rated: A

    Originations were up 3 percent over the previous quarter to $546 million.

    Loans sold or designated as held for sale through OnDeck Marketplace represented 3.9 percent of term loan originations. Provision for loan losses was $34.4 million and the Provision Rate was 6.4 percent, down from Q3’s 7.5 percent.

    Gross revenue increased to $87.7 million, up 7 percent year-over-year, while net revenue was $42.1 million, up 159 percent year-on-year.

    The cost of funds rate was 6.5 percent, which was a slight increase over Q3. OnDeck noted that figure will likely continue to tick up during 2018, as the Fed is forecast to keep raising short-term interest rates.

    Online lender OnDeck’s profit beats on lower costs, shares soar (Reuters), Rated: B

    Shares of OnDeck Capital Inc (ONDK.N) soared on Tuesday after the online lender reported better-than-expected quarterly profit as it set aside less money for bad loans, and managed to keep costs lower.

    NepFin Launches First Online Commercial Lending Platform for -Trillion U.S. Market (Digital Journal), Rated: AAA

    Neptune Financial Inc., or NepFin, a financial services firm, announced today that it has launched the first online commercial lending platform for mid-sized U.S. businesses, creating a new source of credit as well as business software solutions for a large, thriving sector of the economy whose borrowing options are limited.

    NepFin also announced that it has raised a $10-million Series A round led by Sands Capital Ventures with participation from its existing investors. Michael Raab, Partner at Sands Capital, will join NepFin’s board, which already includes Third Point’s David Bonanno, currently a board member of SoFi, as well as Robert Schwartz, Managing Partner at Third Point Ventures. This round brings NepFin’s total capital raised to $13 million.

    NepFin, whose platform has digital solutions built from the team’s years of experience in online lending and traditional finance, says that its focus is on one of the most underserved sectors of the broader U.S. economy – businesses with between $10 million and $100 million in revenue. NepFin provides loans of up to $60 million.

    LendingClub at the Watermark Conference for Women (LendingClub), Rated: A

    LendingClub is excited and proud to be a sponsor of the Watermark Conference for Women being held on February 23rd in San Jose, California. As part of the agenda, two of our Client Advisors from the Business Loans team, Mana and Somie, will be leading roundtable discussions with women entrepreneurs on the core elements to consider when exploring small business financing options.

    Forbes Fintech 50 2018: The Future Of Lending (Forbes), Rated: AAA

    Affirm, San Francisco

    Makes instant three, six and 12 month loans for purchases from 1,500 online merchants. A handful of sellers subsidize 0% rates, but most loans carry annual interest rates of 10% to 30%.

    Bona fides: More than 1 million loans issued. Partners include Wayfair and Expedia.

    Better Mortgage

    Digital-only mortgage originator estimates the loan an applicant qualifies for within three minutes using stated income and a credit score check.

    Bona fides: Fannie Mae and five of nation’s six largest banks buy its loans.

    Blend

    Speeds up the mortgage approval process at the nation’s largest lenders with its cloud based white label software.

    Bona fides: Wells Fargo and U.S. Bancorp are already onboard

    CommonBond

    Online lender refinances and finances undergraduate and graduate student loans.

    Bona fidesCommonBond has made $1.5 billion in loans, but says just two have gone into default.

    GreenSky

    Provides on-the-spot financing for home improvement projects (with loans up to $65,000) via a network of contractors and bank partners — without itself taking on the risk of defaults. Most borrowers don’t pay a dime in interest thanks to zero-interest promotional periods that last from 6 to 60 months. Recently began offering financing at doctor, dentist and veterinary offices.

    Bona fides: Has facilitated over $10 billion in loans

    Kabbage

    Lending platform offers nearly instantaneous small business loans. Uses creative alternative data to underwrite loans–such as the number of UPS packages a business sends and receives over time.

    Bona fides: Over $4 billion in originations to 130,000 small businesses

    LendingHome

    Four year-old online lender started out providing bridge loans to fix and flip housing investors, a historically underserved segment. With original product now available in 25 states, LendingHome has expanded into personal mortgages in 14.

    Bona fides: $2 billion in loans made; 10,000 homes financed

    Tala

    Approves developing-world borrowers who lack a credit history for micro-loans of between $10 and $500 by crunching 10,000 data points—from financial transactions to mobile games played—from an applicant’s smartphone.

    Bona fidesHas made more than 4.5 million loans, with a repayment rate above 90%.

    Upstart, San Carlos, CA

    Uses alternative data such as education, employment history and whether applicants know their own credit score to underwrite and price loans. After five years of training its algorithms, it now approves 47% of loans without human intervention and with some of the lowest default rates in the industry.

    Bona fides: $1.5 billion in loans originated to 120,000 borrowers

    MoneyLion Reaches 2 Million Customer Milestone As Growth Accelerates (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

    MoneyLion, the digital personal finance platform for the financial middle class, today announced that it now empowers over 2 million customers to better their borrowing, saving and investing through personalized, AI-driven solutions. The growth of MoneyLion’s community is a reflection of the positive financial outcomes its customers have achieved and the platform’s unique approach to money management for everyday Americans.

    The momentum behind MoneyLion’s customer growth follows a number of recent milestones for the company, including:

    • The December launch of MoneyLion Plus, a first-of-its-kind membership that combines guided savings, simple investing, access to low-cost loans, and personalized daily financial tips to help consumers build their credit, financial resilience, and first $2,000 in savings. MoneyLion Plus has democratized access to private banking-like services typically reserved for high net worth consumers, providing an opportunity for first-time investors to begin building wealth.
    • Completion of a successful $42 million Series B equity round in January, bringing MoneyLion’s total funds raised to $67 million. This financing accelerates MoneyLion’s continued development of innovative, inclusive financial products and services for America’s financial middle class.

    Student lending platform on review for ratings boost (AltFi), Rated: AAA

    Moody’s puts six tranches issued by CommonBond on review for upgrade.

    Moody’s Investor Services has placed six tranches issued by CommonBond Student Loan Trust 2016-B, 2017-A-GS and 2017-B-GS on review for upgrade. The tranches are comprised of loans to students, and $488m of asset backed securities are affected by the review.

    Dwolla Lands $ 12 Million (Finovate), Rated: A

    In a short, three-sentence blog post, Dwolla CEO Ben Milne announced that the company closed a $12 million round of funding. The investment, which brings the Iowa-based company’s total to $51.4 million, was led by Foundry Group with participation from Union Square Ventures, Next Level Ventures, Ludlow Ventures, High Alpha, and Firebrand– all existing investors.

    Fortress Balance Sheet: Goldman Sachs’ Online Lender Marcus Has Access to $ 17 Billion in Deposits (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

    But today, Blankfein shared that Marcus now has access to over $17 billion in deposits representing a huge amount of credit firepower at an unbeatable cost to lend.

    In a savvy move, Goldman acquired GE Capital’s retail deposits prior to launching Marcus. Since the acquisition, these deposits have grown an impressive 90%.

    Secured Lender BlockFi Secures $ 1.55M Funding to Build Cryptoasset Ecosystem (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

    BlockFi, a New York-based non-bank lender that offers USD loans to cryptoasset owners, announced a $1.55 million raise from ConsenSys Ventures, Kenetic Capital, PJC, SoFi,  Purple Arch Ventures and Lumenary. The new capital injection will be used to bridge the gap between traditional debt capital markets and the cryptoasset ecosystem.

    Five credit unions sign with new text messaging platform in January to enhance lending and operations (CUInsights), Rated: A

    Shastic, a SaaS company specializing in banking-specific technology services, has signed on five new customers in the first month of 2018. The recent growth follows the fintech company’s early launch of Elle, the conversational text messaging platform built for credit unions. Elle is an expansion of their automation services to deliver efficient, real-time message communication between a credit unions and their members.

    Data-sharing spec revised to encourage open banking (American Banker), Rated: A

    The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center announced Tuesday an attempt to move the ball forward on data sharing and open banking in the U.S.

    The FS-ISAC on Tuesday released a new version of its technical recommendations for data sharing, the Durable Data API specification. This could become the standard banks and third parties adopt for PSD2-style data sharing and open banking. In fact, the new standard meets all of PSD2’s requirements, according to the security data-sharing organization. (However, PSD2 also requires third parties to register and agree to be overseen by a regulator, something unlikely to happen here.)

    What We Talk About When We Talk About Finances (With Alexa) (PYMNTS), Rated: A

    As anyone who has used an Alexa skill might know, the movement toward conversational finance, or financial conversations, is a tricky one, as specific instructions or questions (okay, they are commands, really) have traditionally been needed to spur the assistant to retrieve information.

    To that end, USAA has sought to bring a natural cadence and flow to the conversation, one that builds, and built, on its experience in the PYMNTS Voice Challenge last year.

    In play for customer data, TD Ameritrade rolls out Twitter trading bot (Tearsheet), Rated: B

    The brokerage firm released a Twitter bot Thursday, allowing stock investors to execute trades, get market updates and browse educational content through direct messages. For the brokerage, encouraging traders who use Twitter to transact will give it, the hope is, a rich source of user data to offer personalized customer experiences and product recommendations.

    Millennial entrepreneur strives to provide affordable financial advice to all (NewsOK), Rated: A

    How to go about repairing your credit, reducing your student loan debt or obtaining the best mortgage loan now is available to you through a locally produced app.

    The answers are among the widespread financial advice available to consumers nationwide through a new app called Coinmast launched by an Oklahoma City-based millennial entrepreneur.

    At $11 a call, the tech startup offers such help from certified financial counselors, certified financial planners and certified public accountants whom Haller contracts nationwide. Experts, he said, offer advice on almost anything, excluding on individual securities, insurance and taxes.

    Robo advice app Stash raises .5m Series D, releases investing for kids (AltFi), Rated: A

    US-based micro investments app Stash has announced a $37.5m raise in Series D funding, led by Union Square Ventures. Existing investors Breyer Capital, Coatue Management, Entree Capital, as well as fintech familiars Goodwater Capital and Valar Ventures, also joined in on the round.

    My Financial Advisor is a Robot (Direct Industry), Rated: A

    Fintech company Moneyfarm uses cutting-edge technology as well as human financial expertise to help make investing simple, easy and cost-effective. The company also invests in artificial intelligence and machine learning and recently bought AI-driven chatbot Ernest. 

    DirectIndustry e-magazine: What is the technology behind it?

    Paolo Galvani: We use technology to match investors with investment portfolios that are specifically built for their investor profiles. Each new customer completes a survey during the sign-up process. The algorithms we have developed in-house match each investor to an investor profile that reflects their tolerance for risk. Investors are then paired with a portfoliothat is specifically built and managed by our team of investment experts to reflect the customer’s investor profile.

    LPL rolls out robo-adviser to regional bank (InvesmentNews), Rated: A

    Webster Bank, a $26.4 billion financial institution with branches in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York, announced that it would start offering access to Guided Wealth Portfolios, a digital advice platform developed by LPL Financial and BlackRock Inc.‘s FutureAdvisor.

    Interest Doesn’t Always Bring Adoption of Robo-Adviser Tech (PlanAdviser), Rated: A

    A new report published by Cerulli Associates examines the growth trajectory of the digital financial advice market that has occurred since 2015, finding there remains a clear inverse relationship between an investor’s age and their willingness to engage with purely digital financial advice platforms.

    Scott Smith, director at Cerulli, notes that as of the third quarter of 2017, there is “greater openness to digital advice relationships, but a strongly negative correlation between age and interest remains.”

    Cetera Financial Group Enhance Delivery of Advice-Centric Experience for Financial Advisors, Clients (PR Newswire), Rated: B

    Cetera Financial Group (“Cetera”)*, a network of independent firms supporting the delivery of professional financial advice, today announced that the six firms comprising its network will be organized under its newly-created Traditional and Specialty Channels. The formation of these two channels is expected to accelerate the ability of each network firm to support Cetera’s Advice-Centric Experience for advisors and clients, which envisions a financial advice profession driven by goals-based planning and solutions that help clients achieve more predictable outcomes on their journey to financial well-being.

    Looking for Credit Union Student Loans? Here’s How to Find and Apply for Them (Student Loan Hero), Rated: B

    MyCreditUnion.gov provides a map that makes it easy to locate credit unions in your area. Input your address to find a list of credit unions, directions to each location, and available member services. You can then contact local credit unions to find out about membership requirements and student loan options.

    One of the best ways to research your options is to use LendKey. LendKey offers easy access to hundreds of different credit unions and community banks that provide private student loans.

    You have the option of applying directly through a credit union that allows people to join from anywhere in the United States. Some examples of credit unions open to individuals nationwide include Alliant Credit UnionDigital Federal Credit Union, and First Tech Federal Credit Union.

    United Kingdom

    New Isa from RateSetter offers 6% return: is it worth investing? (Which?), Rated: AAA

    With the new product form RateSetter, you could earn 3-6% interest on your investment, depending on how long you lock your money away.

    RateSetter’s Innovative finance Isa allows you to invest up to £20,000 in a tax year.

    It is a flexible Isa product, meaning you can withdraw money and replace it without using up your £20,000 tax-free savings allowance.

    Say, for example, you put £10,000 into your innovative finance Isa and then withdrew £5,000. Under the rules, you could still deposit £15,000 without incurring tax.

    The shortest duration investment rolls over monthly with an interest rate of 3.1%. The longest is a five-year investment, which currently has an interest rate of 5.8%.

    Money goes to… Minimum investment Projected rate
    Abundance Green energy projects £5 6-9% over lifetime of investment (3-5 years)
    Advancr Public and private businesses £1,000 5-6% depending on length of bond
    Basset & Gold Fixed income bonds £1,000 3-7% depending on product
    CapitalRise Property development projects £1,000 10% or more depending on the project
    Crowd2Fund Businesses £10 9%
    Crowd for Angels Crowd bonds funding small businesses £25, but companies can increase that 12%
    Crowdstacker Businesses £500, but set by borrowers 5-7%
    Downing Crowd Fixed-term bonds for small businesses £100 4-7%
    Folk2Folk Asset-backed loans to small, mostly rural businesses £20,000 5.5-6.5% depending on product
    Funding Circle* Businesses £1,000 4.8-7.5% depending on selected risk level
    FundingSecure Asset-backed sub-prime loans to individuals £25 Up to 16%
    Goji P2P Consumer, business and property loans £5,000 5%
    HNW Lending Asset-backed loans to individuals and businesses £10,000 6-15% depending on term and risk
    Kuflink Property loans £100 5%
    LandlordInvest Asset-backed loans to landlords £100 5-12%
    Landbay Buy-to-let mortgages £5,000 4%
    LendingCrowd Business loans £1,000 6%
    Lending Works Individuals £10 3-5% depending on term
    Money&Co. Businesses £100 8%
    Mongoose Crowd Community energy projects £100-200, but can vary by project 4-7%
    Property Crowd Commercial and residential developments £5,000 10%
    Proplend Property of varying types £1,000 5-12%
    Ratesetter Businesses, individuals and property developers £10 3-6% depending on product
    Rebuildingsociety Small and medium-sized businesses £10 9.7%
    Relendex Commercial and residential property loans £500 10%
    UK Bond Network Businesses £5,000 11%
    Zopa** Individuals £1,000 4-4.6% dep

    Fintech group TruFin raises £70m (Finextra), Rated: A

    TruFin, a British fintech and banking business with fingers in various niche lending pies, has raised £70 million through a listing on the LSE’s AIM market.

    LendInvest unveils product transition process (BestAdvice), Rated: A

    The Product Transition process allows existing borrowers to transfer between specialised loans that are tailored to support them at each stage in their development project.

    Lendy returns £2.1m loan repayment from luxury property in Chelsea (Mortgage Introducer), Rated: A

    Peer-to-peer lending platform Lendy returned a £2.1m loan repayment to P2P investors from a luxury apartment in Chelsea, on an investment made through Lendy.

    Lendy appoints new head of finance (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: B

    Andrew Wawrzyniak has joined the peer-to-peer lending platform from Fund Partners, a fund manager whose clients include Octopus Investments, Pictet Asset Management and Russell Investments.

    China

    Sequoia China leads $ 40M DataVisor Series C (Bankless Times), Rated: AAA

    DataVisor, a provider of fraud detection solutions using unsupervised machine learning, today announced a $40 million Series C round of financing led by Sequoia China, with participation from existing investors New Enterprise Associates and GSR Ventures.

    Rock Wang, managing director at Sequoia China, will join DataVisor’s board of directors. With this new round of financing, DataVisor will expand its global footprint in the fraud detection and prevention market, which is estimated to reach $41.6 billion by year 2022 according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.

    European Union

    Swedish Online Payments Company Klarna Shuts Down Tel Aviv Development Center (CTech), Rated: AAA

    Swedish online payments company Klarna Bank AB (publ) will be shutting down its Tel Aviv development center during the next few months, the company announced Tuesday. All 31 of its employees in Tel Aviv were offered the opportunity to remain with the company and relocate to one of its Swedish or German offices.

    Banco BNI Europa to invest with CrossLend (Finextra), Rated: A

    Banco BNI Europa and CrossLend have launched a cooperation whereby Banco BNI Europa invests into notes issued by CrossLend Securities SA.

    International

    Barclays faces new charge, Triodos innovates and outlook for Citizens Bank in the US (Financial Times), Rated: A

    Martin Arnold and guests discuss the latest charges against Barclays, Bevis Watts of the ethically-focused bank Triodos talks about his new UK peer-to-peer lending model and Bruce van Saun explains what US rate rises will mean for Citizens Bank.


     

    Australia

    DirectMoney Secures New Strategic Investment From Alceon For Growth & Innovation Initiatives (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

    Australian marketplace lending platform DirectMoney announced on Tuesday it secured a strategic investment from alternative investment manager Alceon to fund growth and innovation initiatives.

    According to DirectMoney, the investment will be structured through an initial placement of $600,000 at $0.042 per share (being 14,285,715 new shares), a 56% premium to the price at close of trading on February 9th and equivalent to a 3.1% shareholding.

    India

    Why just rent when RentoMojo also gives you the option of renting and owning (YourStory), Rated: AAA

    Online rental and financing marketplace RentoMojo, which lets consumers in eight cities lease furniture, two-wheelers and home appliances, has launched an additional  rent-to-own model. 

    PE AND VC OPPORTUNITIES IN 21ST CENTURY INDIA (AllAboutAlpha), Rated: AAA

    ARA Law, a firm based in Mumbai and Bangalore, India, has issued a paper on private equity and venture capital in that country.

    The main text of the paper begins with sectoral analysis and market behavior. PE and VC investments in India declined in the early months of 2017, but they had started to pick up already before the end of the first quarter and in the third quarter investments by such vehicles “surprised the market with a tremendous jump in deal volume as well as value.”

    In August of that year the deal value reached US$5 billion. The third quarter as a whole saw 129 deals of value greater than US$100 million, aggregating to about US$7 billion.

    The most lucrative sector last year was e-Commerce, “in spite of the sharp fall in investments by the end of AY 2016,” followed by real estate. In the 3d quarter, e-Commerce recorded roughly US$2.6 billion in deals across 18 deals. Real estate?  US$2.3 billion across 13 deals. Banking and Financial Services? Third place in the league table with US $1.4 billion across 25 deals.

    MoneyOnMobile Raises $ 5 Mn Funding From S7 Group (Inc42), Rated: A

    Mumbai-based fintech startup MoneyOnMobile has raised $5 Mn in Series H funding from Russia-based private aviation and aerospace holding company S7 Group. The development comes just two weeks after the startup secured $7.6 Mn Series F funding from undisclosed investors.

    Asia

    Genie ICO: A Blockchain Network For Decentralized Business Loans (Global Coin Report), Rated: AAA

    Genie was created to provide individuals based in Asia with a unique way to borrow and lend money for their business using a peer-to-peer system that is based on a blockchain network. The Genie ICO has been created by an experienced team after observing the rapidly changing Asian financial landscape ever since cryptocurrencies, ICOs, and blockchain technology grew to prominence in 2017.

    The platform will also have its very own token Crowd Genie Coin (CGC) which will be generated via an ICO. There will be a limited supply of 120,000,000 tokens available. Of this amount, only 50 million will be available for purchase during the token sale. The rest of the tokens will be used for facilitating transactions on the platform, will be given to the founders, used for distribution, etc. All tokens that are not bought during the token sale, however, will be destroyed to increase the value of a single CGC.

    The Genie team hopes to raise a total of $35,000,000 throughout the ICO and the value of 400 CGC tokens has been estimated to be of equal value of 1 ether, which at the time of writing equates to $858. This means that a single CGC is worth $2.15. However, the interested investor can invest a minimum of 0.1, which will attract a wide variety of investors.

    Authors:

    George Popescu
    Allen Tayl

    Thursday August 10 2017, Daily News Digest

    Lending Club

    News Comments Today’s main news: NSR Invest, LendingRobot merge: Now the largest alt lending robo-advisor.LendInvest makes London Stock Exchange debut.Big banks losing ground to China’s fintech giants. Today’s main analysis: Q2 update from LendingClub CIO.MarketInvoice loanbook snapshot. Today’s thought-provoking articles: LendingClub’s surprise comeback.Sanborn looks ahead.Personal financial management apps fold as banks work them into their […]

    Lending Club

    News Comments

    United States

    United Kingdom

    China

    European Union

    International

    Australia

    India

    Asia

    News Summary

    United States

    NSR Invest and LendingRobot merge to become the largest robo-advisor in the alternative lending space (LendingRobot Email), Rated: AAA

    NSR Invest and LendingRobot, two of the largest specialized Registered Investment Advisors in the alternative lending space, announced today that the companies have merged to create the leading independent advisory platform for alternative lending. Lend Core LLC, the parent company of NSR Invest, acquired Algorithmic, Inc. and all its assets, including the LendingRobot website and technology.

    The joint team will combine its knowledge in the industry, investment algorithms, machine learning and blockchain technologies with the goal of providing steady investment returns to more than 8000 clients.

    The websites, operating, and trading systems of NSRinvest.com and LendingRobot.com will continue to function separately in the short term. In the immediate future, the company is focusing its newfound strength on the LendingRobot Series.

    Q2 2017: An Update from Our CIO (LendingClub), Rated: AAA

    Projected investor returns are also largely unchanged from the first quarter and continue to range from approximately 4% to 9% (see below).

    A few factors that influence returns on the platform1 are listed below:

    • Economic Backdrop. The American economy remains robust but growth continues to be relatively modest. The unemployment rate has changed little over the past year, measuring at 4.4% as of July 2017. Meanwhile, GDP increased by 2.6% in the second quarter of 2017.
    • Borrower Performance. Recent vintage performance continues to come in broadly in line with our expectations. As mentioned above, we continue to see lower delinquency rates across most grades and terms than in loans issued in the second and third quarters of 2016, which we attribute to changes made in 2016.
    • Interest Rates. The overall interest rate environment remains low, though the Federal Reserve raised its Target Rate by 25 bps in June 2017. After announcing its latest rate increase, the Federal Open Market Committee signaled its willingness to raise rates further, as it “expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant gradual increases in the Federal Funds Rate.” Interest rates on the LendingClub platform are not changing at this time.
    Source: LendingClub

    Lending Club makes a surprise comeback (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

    In Q1 2017, US alt lender Lending Club published disappointing results, which showed a flat performance and seemingly vague turnaround plans, sparking concerns that it could be headed for a dead end. However, the company has now reported its second-highest quarterly revenue to date for Q2 of this year, with analysts pointing outthat it appears back on a growth trajectory.

    In Q1 2017, US alt lender Lending Club published disappointing results, which showed a flat performance and seemingly vague turnaround plans, sparking concerns that it could be headed for a dead end. However, the company has now reported its second-highest quarterly revenue to date for Q2 of this year, with analysts pointing outthat it appears back on a growth trajectory.

    LendingClub CEO Sanborn ‘Looking Ahead’ After Scandal (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

    LendingClub Corp (NYSE:LC) Stock Soars As Banks Prove To Be Hypocrites (BNL Finance), Rated: A

    Importantly, peer to peer lending is the fastest growing industry in lending, and while there are a lot of players in the game, LendingClub is one of the largest. On many occasions over the last year, BNL Finance has told members that banks would come back and that LC stock losses were overdone.

    With that said, LendingClub stock has rallied 26% over the last three sessions.

    PFM apps are folding as banks work them into their own apps (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

    Last week,  Level Money, the money management app owned by Capital One Financial, said it will shut down on Sept. 1. Also last week, Prosper Marketplace said it would discontinue the Prosper Daily app and urged customers to bring their PFM needs to Clarity Money. Earlier last month, SoFi said it would nix the services by Zenbanx, just six months after it acquired the online banking company, and would use its technology and personnel for its own online bank.

    PFM has never been a prominent feature of consumer bank accounts. For most of banks’ existence people had to balance their own checkbooks based on debits and credits. That’s changing now as banks realize the importance of personal financial management for continued customer engagement. And they’re starting to implement PFM features into their offerings to provide more complete banking experiences. As it is today, PFM is usually a separate entity found in entirely different apps like Clarity Money, Moven or Mint.

    For example, one of the biggest nuisances of PFM historically has been the lack of good financial data. Customers using an app would have to hand over their online banking credentials so the third party financial app could access their banking data to be able to provide users with their financial snapshot. The data that appeared on the home screen of their online banking wasn’t always in sync with what they would see in their PFM app.

    Chinese Stock That Rallied 4,555% Could Get the Boot From the Nasdaq (Bloomberg), Rated: A

    Wins Finance Holdings Inc., the Chinese loan guarantor that couldn’t explain a 4,555 percent surge in its stock, is set to be delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market, which cited violations of exchange rules related to its shareholder base.

    Nasdaq said Wins doesn’t meet regulations requiring it to have at least 300 shareholders who own 100 shares. The exchange’s decision was also based on “the making of alleged misrepresentations by the company relating to the 300 round-lot shareholder requirement,” as well as public interest concerns, Wins said in a statement Wednesday.

    Source: Bloomberg Markets

    Installment Loan Provider Earns Top Rating from TopConsumerReviews.com (PR Web), Rated: A

    TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating to Lending Club, an industry leader among companies offering Installment Loans.

    “For Installment Loans ranging from $1000 to $40,000, Lending Club provides incredible customer service with fair interest rates and fees,” according to Brian Dolezal, of TopConsumerReviews.com, LLC.

    StreetShares raises $ 10.3m for “Shark Tank meets eBay” approach to P2P lending (Banking Technology), Rated: A

    Alternative lending platform StreetShares raised $10.3 million in a venture round this week, writes Finovate(Banking Technology‘s sister company).

    The funds come from an undisclosed investor and bring the Virginia-based company’s total funding to almost $20 million since it was founded in 2013.

    Real Estate Crowdfunding Platforms Work to Find a Niche (National Real Estate Investor), Rated: A

    However, as crowdfunding marketplaces are getting bigger and more investors are coming onboard, the power to raise equity through this marketplace is growing, says Tore Steen, co-founder and CEO of CrowdStreet Inc. Initially, many sponsors have been looking to raise $1 million to $2 million as a supplement to their existing base of investors. Those levels are now moving to $3 million to $5 million. CrowdStreet’s largest equity raise on a single offering to date was close to $8 million.

    Although it remains a fragmented niche that is difficult to quantify, research firm Massolution had estimated the size of the global real estate crowdfunding industry at $3.5 billion in 2016.

    RealtyMogul emerged as one of the early players in real estate crowdfunding. Since the firm launched in 2013, it has raised more than $280 million in equity through its online real estate investing marketplace.

    Currently, CrowdStreet has more than 25,000 registered investors on its marketplace. In addition, among its active investors, over 55 percent are repeat investors.

    Crowdfunding firms such as RealtyMogul are also fueling growth with online “eREITs” that allow them to target a bigger pool of non-accredited investors. Currently, RealtyMogul has 135,000 registered users on its platform, including both accredited and non-accredited investors.

    How David Zalik Skipped High School On His Way To Becoming A Billionaire (Forbes), Rated: A

    With that I become the first public witness to the long, irregularly shaped basement office where GreenSky, America’s third-most-valuable fintech company (after Stripe and SoFi), has been incubating in obscurity for the past decade. And it’s Zalik who holds the golden ticket: Last September, GreenSky raised $50 million at a $3.6 billion valuation. The 43-year-old cofounder and CEO still owns more than half of the company, shooting him well into the billionaire ranks.

    GreenSky’s real magic, however, is something you can’t see: a model that transfers much of the risk, as well as the work, to other parties–and profits from both sides of each deal. Those 17,000 contractors not only market the loans to homeowners but also pay GreenSky, on average, 6% of the loan amount.

    From Illinois’ woes to the state of credit: Jamie Dimon lets loose (Crain’s Chicago Business), Rated: A

    Obviously you’re a believer in online lending, given JPMorgan’s relationship with small-business lender OnDeck. Tell me how you see online lending going.

    What the real issue in peer-to-peer lending is that the borrower will need the money in good times and bad, but the lender will not lend the money in good times and bad. The second there’s a recession, they’ll pull back. That’s exactly what you saw in February of last year when all of a sudden people were pulling back in giving money to the peer-to-peer lenders, who couldn’t then make loans. And they all got crushed. Some have been quite bright. So I think Chicago-based Avant has been quite bright, and they kind of anticipated this, and they created permanent capital. There are multiple ways to create permanent capital. Securitizations kind of work. But they don’t work in tough times. They disappear. Bank relationships work. There are ways to fix the problem. But that is an issue: Can you sustain your business model through the cycle? I think some of them will succeed.

    Would you ever see banks getting directly into online consumer lending?

    Remember, there is nothing online lenders can do that we can’t. ling With Insurance Companies Less Miserable

    5 fintech trends disrupting retail banking (and how banks can fight back) (The Financial Brand), Rated: A

    1. Quick money transfer apps – Millennials have come to expect such an experience. Many banks and credit unions are starting to realize this, but they’re a little behind the eight ball.
    2. Chatbots and Messenger-Based Payments – Soon, you’ll be able to pay for that used TV you found on Craigslist by texting the seller directly from your phone’s messenger app, including Apple which turned on the Messagespayments functionality in June 2017.
    3. Forget the Card, Pay With Mobile Devices – On its own, this doesn’t seem like much of a Trojan horse for banks, but as more people shift behaviors so too will the expectations of banking customers. And with the global mobile payments market estimated to hit $3.4 trillion by 2022, it’s worth monitoring in relation to banking customers.
    4. Smart Budgeting and Personal Finance Management
    5. Digital Currencies That Don’t Require Central Banks

    Fintech expert Maule to join British digital banking startup (American Banker), Rated: A

    Fintech expert Sam Maule has been hired by nascent digital banking firm 11:FS to head up its expansion in North America.

    Marketplace Lending Abs Fund Form D (Weekly Register), Rated: B

    The New Jersey-based Marketplace Lending Abs Fund, Lp filed Form D for $2.75 million offering. This is a new filing. The Limited Partnership raised $2.75 million. The offering is still open. The total offering amount was $2.75 million. This form was filed on 2017-08-09.

    Online Lending Policy Institute to Host Second Annual Summit in Washington, D.C. (Markets Insider), Rated: B

    The Online Lending Policy Institute (OLPI), the leading voice for policy analysis, in-depth research, and education for the online lending industry, today announced it will host its Second Annual Summit on Sept. 25 at The Renaissance Hotel in Washington D.C.

    Capital One VP Joins veteran-focused fintech firm (American Banker), Rated: B

    A former Capital One executive has moved to StreetShares, an online lending and investing platform.

    Heather Tuason, formerly senior vice president of small business at Capital One, is now the fintech startup’s chief product officer, it announced Tuesday.

    EquityBuild Announces Master Class Webinar on Five Years to Wealth Through the Brand New Model (Benzinga), Rated: B

    EquityBuild announces a new master class on the Power of Five, highlighting their new five-year investment model.

    Here is the upcoming webinar master class to attend August 14, 2017:

    EquityBuild Power of Five Master Class – Find out how this unique model changing the way investors view real estate. Join us for this special event here.

    Labor Department delays fiduciary rule implementation date (Reuters), Rated: B

    The U.S. Department of Labor will give wealth management companies more time to get in line with the new “fiduciary rule,” a regulation that requires financial advisers to put retirees’ interests ahead of their own, the regulator said on Wednesday.

    Securities brokerages like Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp’s Merrill Lynch now have until July 1, 2019, to present retirement savers with new contracts that spell out the fees brokers make on certain investment products or transition them into accounts that charge a flat fee based on assets.

    United Kingdom

    LendInvest makes London Stock Exchange debut with £50m raise (Finextra), Rated: AAA

    LendInvest, the UK’s leading online platform for property lending and investing, today listed a £50 million retail bond on the London Stock Exchange’s Order book for Retail Bonds (ORB).

    The process to raise LendInvest’s first retail bond was closed early and oversubscribed, thanks to strong demand from retail and institutional investors. About half of the proceeds raised came from major financial institutions including several multi-billion pound asset managers, two global insurance businesses and a major UK state pension fund.

    The bond pays a fixed annual coupon of 5.25% for five years, and is secured against a portfolio of property loans and guaranteed by LendInvest. From today, the bond trades under the LSE ticker LIV1.

    P2P Lending: MarketInvoice Loanbook Snapshot (LinkedIn), Rated: AAA

    MarketInvoice, founded in 2010, is the largest UK online P2P lending firm specialising in invoice discounting and invoice factoring. Selective invoice discounting is a facility that allows businesses to sell individual invoices at a discount in order to unlock immediate funding which can be an attractive solution for SMEs periodically strained with cashflow. In early 2017 the platform launched an additional product in the form of MarketInvoice Pro, an invoice factoring product that essentially is a debt facility which businesses can draw on backed by the business’s sales ledger.

    Source: Sukhwinder Shoker

    MarketInvoice celebrated its strongest origination quarter in 2017Q2 with £161.9m in invoices traded and a healthy 25.3% increase from the previous quarter. Annualised invoice origination growth (2013-2016) for the platform stands at 82.6% and, whilst encouraging, it is clear to see from the oscillation in monthly advanced funding that to-date annualised return performance has been highly influenced by seasonality trends.

    Source: Sukhwinder Shoker

    Invoice terms exceeding 60 days formed 28.3% of origination in 2016Q2, however, this has significantly increased to 58.2% of 2017Q2 origination.

    Invoice originations have shifted away from riskier price grades since the introduction of Market Invoice Pro and this is welcome news for investors.

    Meet Finimize: The fintech startup that turned a popular newsletter into a financial planning platform (Tech World), Rated: A

    Rofagha quickly realised that the banks couldn’t help him, a financial advisor was unreachable with his income, and the rise of the robo-advisor hadn’t really taken off yet.

    Then there is one of his favourite statistics: “86 percent of millennials save each month but they keep more than 50 percent of their assets in cash, because there is no suitable way for them to get financial advice.” This was his lightbulb moment.

    Now Rofagha has launched the next phase, a financial planning platform called Finimize MyLife, which is currently in beta and has a waiting list of more than 24,000 people.

    The Finimize MyLife platform is free to use and helps users create a financial plan by answering a few questions about their financial position, setting goals and then selecting from a range of options, be that opening an ISA or investing with a partner like Nutmeg or Moneyfarm.

    The next steps for Rofagha will be to invest in data science so that the platform can make more tailored product recommendations for users, once it has built out its data set.

    WiseAlpha opens up corporate bond market for investors (AltFi), Rated: A

    Online lending platform WiseAlpha is adding corporate bond and loan investments to its platform.

    Retail investors can now access Tesco’s £300m institutional bond that has a 4.8 per cent return.

    Users can buy the debt for as little as  £100 and cash in their bonds via the secondary market on the platform. The grocers bond matures in 2042.

    Six of the best alternative income ideas (IG.com), Rated: A

    Looking at the ten years to the end of May 2017, inflation as measured by the Retail Price Index (RPI) rose 31.8%, while anyone receiving the Bank of England (BoE) base rate would have made a total return of 13.2%. In other words, cash in a bank account has lost 18.6% of its real value over ten years.

    Over several years, the Investment Trust sector has seen huge growth in alternative income products, and here we list six products from sectors that investors may want to consider for inclusion in their investment allocations.

    MARKET INSIGHT: OLD MONEY, NEW METHOD (Campden FB), Rated: A

    Marketplace or ‘peer-to-peer’ lending can be attractive for family office investors for several reasons:

    • attractive absolute and relative returns compared to other fixed interest instruments
    • ability to create some granular/diverse portfolios through investment in loan parts
    • transparent credit process and loan pricing
    • ability to match maturity profile to desired outcomes

    At present, the lack of a uniform set of standards places some obstacles for investors willing to invest across multiple marketplace lenders. The data structure, terminology, and methodologies differ greatly from platform to platform. However, good platforms are able to clearly demonstrate how loans are underwritten, an expected loss rate and basis for making investment decisions.

    How can family offices engage with marketplace lenders?

    Firstly, investors need to consider the asset class and risk profile they wish to invest in.

    Secondly, investors need to consider how active they wish to be—in its truest form marketplace lender allow absolute discretion to bid on individual loans at whatever size suits.

    Glint is a stealthy London fintech startup that promises to turn gold into a ‘new global currency’ (TechCrunch), Rated: A

    Glint, a stealthy London fintech startup that promises a new “global currency,” has raised £3.1 million from a plethora of individual backers in the financial services and asset management space, alongside early-stage investor Bray Capital.

    However, I understand that Glint will offer a frictionless way to both store and spend your money in gold, including at the point of sale, just like a regular local currency.

    Railsbank, a new fintech startup from founder of Currencycloud, raises $ 1.2M led by Firestartr (TechCrunch), Rated: A

    Railsbank, a relatively new fintech startup co-founded by CEO Nigel Verdon, who previously founded money exchange and payments platform Currencycloud, has raised $1.2 million in a funding round led by seed investment firm Firestartr.

    The company, yet to see its full launch and over a year in the making, offers what it describes as an open banking and compliance platform aimed at other companies, including other fintechs, that have global banking requirements that need to be accessed programatically via an API.

    China

    China targets mobile payments oligopoly with clearing mandate (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

    China’s central bank has ordered online payment groups to operate through a centralised clearing house, a move likely to undercut the dominance of Ant Financial and Tencent by forcing them to share valuable transaction data with competitors.

    China is the world leader in mobile payments, with transaction volumes rising nearly fivefold last year to Rmb59tn ($8.8tn), according to iResearch. They are now widely used for everything from high-street shopping to peer-to-peer lending.

    Now the People’s Bank of China is requiring all third-party payment companies to channel payments through a new clearing house by next June, according to a document sent to payment companies on August 4 and seen by the Financial Times.

    Ant Financial, the financial services affiliate of Alibaba Group, is the market leader in mobile payments, with its Alipay unit processing 54 per cent share of all transactions in the first quarter of the year, according to iResearch. WeChat Pay, linked to Tencent’s mobile messaging app, held a 40 per cent share.

    Big banks on notice that they’re losing ground to China’s fintech giants (SCMP), Rated: AAA

    “JPMorgan every year, as we speak, processes through our QuickPay 94 million payments,” she said, “But Tencent, the Chinese company, over Chinese New Year, in five days processed 46 billion payments. Basically that means 800 million payments per hour.

    “Visa has a maximum capacity of processing 25,000 payments per second. But Alipay can process 50,000 payments, twice as much, per second.”

    The rise of online payments through non-bank services, exemplified by Alipay and WeChat Pay – which falls under the Tenpay umbrella – in China, has caused another banking giant, Goldman Sachs, to stand up and take notice too.

    The firm recently published a report, led by Mancy Sun, which reveals the value of third-party payments in China grew more than 74 times from 2010 to 2016, from US$155 billion to a staggering US$11.4 trillion.

    Of that total, 56 per cent took the form of peer-to-peer transfers while about 16 per cent was consumption-related. Furthermore, payments made via third-party payment companies comprised 40 per cent of all retail sales, a figure that is still growing.

    Top3 Chinese block chain asset trading platform (the second-tier platforms) (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

    First of all, how to define the Chinese second-tier platforms? We refer to the following three factors:

    1. It has been established for a long time, and there is little risk of failure for the company after a long-term market test and trials.
    2. Popular and profitable.
    3. It belong to the major currencies which are the top of the list. And it has certain dominance in a few currencies.

    So, the TOP3 Chinese second-tier platforms are finally selected as:

    BTC
    Online date: May 2013
    Website: btc38.com
    Registered capital: 10 million
    Office address: Shenzhen

    CDC CloudCoin
    Online date: April 2014
    Website: yunbi.com
    Registered capital: 10 million
    Office address: Beijing

    CHBTC
    Online date: early 2013
    Website:chbtc.com
    Registered capital: 10 million
    Office address: Zhongshan city, Guangdong province

    China Commercial Credit Enters Share Exchange Agreement with Sorghum Investment Holdings Limited (Markets Insider), Rated: A

    China Commercial Credit, Inc. (NasdaqCM: CCCR) (“CCCR” or the “Company”), a microfinance company providing financial services to small-to-medium enterprises (“SMEs”), farmers and individuals in Jiangsu Province, today announced that, it has entered into a share exchange agreement (the “Share Exchange Agreement”) by and through its Board of Directors and majority shareholder dated August 9, 2017 with the equity holders of Sorghum Investment Holdings Limited (“Sorghum”), an Internet platform specializing in providing peer-to-peer lending services to individuals and small business owners in China. Pursuant to the Exchange Agreement, the Company has agreed to acquire all of the issued and outstanding equity interests of Sorghum in exchange for 152,586,795 shares of the Company’s Common Stock (the “Acquisition”). Upon completion of the Acquisition, the Company will own 100% of Sorghum, and will be a financial services group operating in both smart financing as well as microfinance sectors in China.

    Sina Corp Establishes $ 500M Online Finance Fund To Back Chinese FinTech Firms (China Money Network), Rated: A

    Chinese Internet portal Sina Corp said it would establish an Online Finance Fund with a target fundraising size of US$500 million to invest in Chinese fintech companies.

    Fintech is one of the most important opportunities in the next three to five years, Chao said during the call. The company believes that it can leverage its own online traffic, data, and microblog services Weibo to attract users and create a strong new brand.

    Sina will focus on the business categories where it can obtain its own operating license, such as micro-lending. The company is currently offering micro-lending to users via a partnership with other financial firms, but it is in the process to get its own license.

    LendIt Lang Di Fintech Names Omega One PitchIt Competition Winner (PR Newswire), Rated: B

    LendIt, the world’s largest show in lending and fintech, named Omega One the winner of its Lang Di Fintech PitchIt competition in Shanghai on July 16. Out of eight PitchIt finalists (and hundreds of applicants) at China’s largest fintech conference, Omega One, an automated trade execution platform, was chosen as the winner for its innovation in the cryptocurrency markets.

    As the winner, Omega One received a RMB 1 million investment from JadeValue and co-working space for six months. The company also received two tickets to LendIt USA 2018 as well as round trip airfare and full accommodations for the duration of the conference. The LendIt team will also curate meetings with fintech companies and investors during Omega One’s trip to the U.S.

    Lang Di Fintech was held in Shanghai on July 15 – 16, 2017.

    European Union

    FinTech Group Counts on BearingPoint RegTech (BusinessWire), Rated: B

    Management and technology consultancy BearingPoint, a leading provider of Risk and Regulatory Technology (RiskTech/RegTech), announced that FinTech Group AG, one of the leading providers of innovative financial technologies in Europe, included BearingPoint’s regulatory reporting solution ABACUS/DaVinci in its product portfolio.

    International

    Fintech startup brings blockchain and cryptocurrencies to invoice finance (GT Review), Rated: A

    New fintech startup Populous is introducing smart contracts, blockchain technology and digital tokens to the invoice financing space.

    Having raised more than US$10mn in crowdfunding in just five days, the company has now started piloting its new platform, which lets firms and individuals sell or buy invoices globally.

    Australia

    Locked out of property market? Five better places for Millennials to put money (The Sydney Morning Herald), Rated: A

    Below are five better places to put your money as a young Australian in 2017.

    Another investment opportunity emerging with the rise of fintech is peer-to-peer (P2P) or marketplace lending.

    You input a few details into an online form, such as your preferred credit grade, loan term, and maximum amount you wish to invest in any one loan. The algorithm then does the rest on your behalf, and some lenders claim returns as high as 12 per cent per annum.

    Women in Finance finalists revealed (TheAdviser), Rated: B

    Online lender Prospa received nods in three categories — Alison Binskin, head of operations, made the cut for Fintech Leader of the Year, Lauren Davidson received recognition for Human Relations Professional of the Year and Anna Fitzgerald for Public Relations/Communications Professional of the Year.

    India

    Just Rent, Don’t Buy (Business Today), Rated: AAA

    India has many consumer-lending companies, but there are very few consumer-leasing firms that borrow, convert the money into assets and lease them. RentoMojo does just that and says it has discovered the playbook fairly early, which could be used across categories and not just furniture.

    There is one weakness in this model – it is capital intensive, and assets have to be bought before they can be leased.

    Adukia, who looks after internal finances, says that the company has lines of credit with banks, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and high net-worth individuals (HNIs).

    There has been no independent study on the market size of the consumer-leasing business, but the company claims it is about $10-12 billion. To stay on top of this market in terms of affordability, RentoMojo does not deal with middlemen and buys directly from manufacturers, says Nain. “We also act like a quasi-bank that takes a call on the creditworthiness of its customers [to protect our revenues].”

    Is our banking industry facing existential crisis from fintech boom? (The Jakarta Post), Rated: A

    Recent developments in the rise of Robo-advisers and investments in digital and P2P lending platforms, however, appear to support arguments on the contrary. Already we are seeing Alibaba dominating the payment scene in China while similar local companies like Go-Pay in Indonesia is also rapidly evolving into a commendable competitor of the banks in the payments scheme locally.

    The level of threat does not go unnoticed within the banking professionals’ sphere. Based on a survey by PWC, about 81 percent of the banking and fintech players in Indonesia would see a degree of disruption in the way the banks are doing business, with which roughly 50 percent of them observe potential significant disruptions.

    On the payment and settlements front, we have also seen how fintech has exposed the inefficiencies in the banks’ existing business processes. For example, in the cross-border interbank payment, the current average transaction costs for sending remittances abroad through bank average around 10.99 percent of the nominal amount globally, according to a report by World Bank. This is highly efficient and perhaps one of the catalysts for online remittance companies like TransferWise to exist.

    Another study estimates suggest that mortgage borrowers in the US and European market could potentially save $480 to $960 per loan and banks would be able to reduce costs in the range of $3billion to $11billion by lowering processing costs in the mortgage origination process. Such figure further highlights the inefficiency in the banks’ current operating structure. The figure would likely be more substantial on the percentage basis if similar survey is conducted in Indonesia.

    Asia

    Globe Telecom’s Fuse to Provide Loans Powered by Mambu (Markets Insider), Rated: AAA

    Mambu, the SaaS banking engine, today announced it will be powering the consumer and business lending products of Fuse, the lending arm of Filipino financial technology firm Mynt, by September 2017.

    Mynt is increasing access to  financial services through mobile money, micro-loans and technology by leveraging the mobile and store networks of its partners and parent company in a country with 113% mobile penetration but only 31% banking penetration.

    Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which account for 99.6% percent of total registered companies in the country, as well as individuals face significant difficulty in accessing credit from incumbents due to stringent credit decisioning, limited authentication documentation and lack of collateral.

    Singaporean fintech hub Lattice80 to launch office in India (Tech Wire Asia), Rated: A

    LATTICE80, Singapore’s fintech hub will be opening an India branch at the end of September, as reported by Bloombergmarking the company’s first step in expanding their global operations.

    The fintech hub is planning to open offices in world’s financial capitals, especially London, New York and cities in the Middle East.

    MODALKU has become the first and only peer-to-peer (P2P) lending company to attain membership at the International Association of Credit Portfolio Managers (IACPM), a forum where financial institutions share and discuss best practices for credit risk management.

    Modalku co-founder and CEO Reynold Wijaya stated that his team is focused on attaining international, even global standards.standards.

    Authors:

    George Popescu
    Allen Taylor

    Wednesday July 19 2017, Daily News Digest

    UK financial services

    News Comments Today’s main news: Goldman’s traders have worst first half of Blankfein’s reign. RateSetter hit hard by struggling loans. RateSetter offers investors free sell out option. LandlordInvest hits 1M GBP lending milestone. Revolut offers free personal accounts for Europeans. Today’s main analysis: Goldman has worst first half in Blankfein era. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 35 institutional investors raise stakes in Yirendai. A […]

    UK financial services

    News Comments

    United States

    United Kingdom

    China

    European Union

    International

    Australia/New Zealand

    India

    Asia

    Africa

    News Summary

    United States

    Goldman’s Traders Turn In Worst First Half of Blankfein’s Reign (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. traders turned in their worst first-half performance since Lloyd Blankfein rose from that business to become chief executive officer in 2006.

    Investment-banking revenue fell 3 percent to $1.73 billion from a year earlier, better than the $1.59 billion prediction. Investment management as well as the Investing and Lending business also surpassed expectations.

    35 INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS ARE RAISING STAKES IN YIRENDAI LTD. (YRD) (Post Analyst), Rated: AAA

    (NYSE:YRD) enjoyed a 74.75% run-up in share price since hitting record low of $18.3. The stock managed 3.53% rise and now stands at $31.98 as of July 17, 2017.

    Institutional investors currently hold around $143 million or 7.7% in YRD stock.

    Yirendai Ltd. 13F Filings

    At the end of Mar reporting period, 35 institutional holders increased their position in Yirendai Ltd. (NYSE:YRD) by some 1,343,454 shares, 22 decreased positions by 2,144,331 and 5 held positions by 1,150,551. That puts total institutional holdings at 4,638,336 shares, according to SEC filings. The stock grabbed 21 new institutional investments totaling 973,854 shares while 12 institutional investors sold out their entire positions totaling 1,445,115 shares.

    For Millennials, It’s Hip To Have A Traditional Bank (PYMNTS), Rated: A

    In a survey held from the end of June into early July and conducted by SurveyMonkey, the web-based survey firm queried more than 1,000 adults above the age of 18, 290 of which were defined as 18- to 34-year-olds: millennials.

    Among the findings in the How We Will Pay study: 83 percent of respondents wanted to be able to use an ever-burgeoning roster of new devices to conduct commerce. But, interestingly, when it came to actually transacting, 77 percent of those surveyed said trust remained a key factor when deciding who they want enabling those transactions.

    People tend to trust the banks, financial institutions and bank card networks where payments relationships are already in place and already are known to consumers, according to the data.

    Most Americans, at 63 percent, have used peer-to-peer payments, said SurveyMonkey. PayPal claimed the lion’s share there at about 80 percent across all demographics. Venmo remains a distant second, at 11 percent, with even greater adoption among millennials at 30 percent. Peer use also mattered to those surveyed, as 28 percent of millennials used the platform because their friends and family members did.

    Eighty percent of surveyed millennials wanted the option to visit a brick-and-mortar bank branch based near their towns. In fact, the banks without a tangible footprint in a millennial-centric town lose out, as members of that demographic claimed they would be less likely to open an account with a bank were it not to have a physical branch nearby, said SurveyMonkey.

    A new fintech startup wants to democratize trust funds (Business Insider), Rated: A

    Now, app-only fintech Tomorrow, which launched services across the US this week, wants to help this group access inheritance products: In the US, 74% of millennials don’t have a will, and 50% of millennial households would struggle to pay their bills without their primary wage earner, according to studies Tomorrow cites. The company’s raised $2.6 million in Seed funding from backers including Plug and Play, Allianz Life, and Curious Capital. It’s now available for iPhone, and will release an Android version later.

    Tomorrow aims to show that 

    Urban FT Acquires iParse To Bridge The Mobile Banking Gap (PYMNTS), Rated: A

    When it comes to mobile banking, there’s often a massive gap between the consumer’s experience with a big bank and with a smaller regional operator or credit union. The big banks have embraced mobile as a critical part of their overall delivery experience — with custom mobile banking apps, proprietary mobile wallets, biometric-authentication, cardless ATMs and more.

    But when it comes to the smaller players serving more local populations, the well of mobile innovation can run dry rather quickly and for many reasons.

    “A staggering statistic I came across recently really gave me pause. A full 42 percent of credit unions still don’t have mobile banking apps — and it’s not because they don’t want them or don’t think they need them,” Steggall remarked, “but because they don’t have the ability or the resources to do the technical integrations, and they can’t justify the cost.”

    While Urban FT’s new products with iParse are for smaller FIs, Steggall told Webster the company also sees a profitable future working with existing payments processors in the market today. Steggall said the iParse solution will help those players — including larger processors already offering their own mobile banking services — better serve their smaller bank and credit union partners.

    4 Tips for Developing a Product Around an Unknown Concept (Entrepreneur.com), Rated: A

    Being an innovator always comes with the huge challenge of educating potential investors, developers and end users on the significance of a totally new product or service. When bitcoin hit the market, its leaders struggled to answer the same question: “Why is this necessary?”

    When you’re building something new, your mistakes form the blueprints future entrepreneurs will study. If you’re a trailblazer in a novel space, here are four ways to forge ahead.

    1. Don’t sell — educate.

    YieldStreet, an online alternative investments platform, created YieldStreet University, which combines video content, infographics and other visuals to help simplify complex concepts about alternative investing for its customers.

    2. Slow your roll.

    Faster isn’t always better. When you’re dealing with an unknown concept, speed kills the sales process. If your service or product is new to the market, resist the temptation to immediately convert cold traffic. First, take time to make sure your clients or customers understand what they’re working with and how to utilize your product or service to its fullest potential.

    3. Be open about swings and misses.

    Honesty builds trust. One study from Label Insight showed 73 percent of participants were willing pay more for more transparent brands.

    4. Focus on your mission, not personas.

    Don’t concern yourself with selling to anyone in Box X or Box Y. If you do, you’ll end up tailoring your product to suit demographics instead of your vision. Identify your mission and purpose, and sell that.

    Recent IPO Movers of the Week (July 10-14, 2017) (Money Morning), Rated: B

    China Rapid Finance Ltd. (NYSE: XRF) soared 20.6% for the week. The online consumer-lending marketplace announced on Monday that it had reached the 20 million-loan milestone on its platform.

    United Kingdom

    Peer-to-peer lender Ratesetter hit by £80m of struggling loans (The Guardian), Rated: AAA

    The peer-to-peer lender Ratesetter has been hit by £80m of struggling loans in the first major setback for the nascent online lending sector.

    The company said it would use its own funds to prevent losses being taken by its 50,000 users, who are mostly small investors using the website in order to lend their savings to other individuals and benefit from higher interest rates than are available at high street banks.

    The company admitted that it had made £36m of loans to a company called Vehicle Trading Group Limited (VTG), a motor finance holding company that then fell into administration because it had taken on too much debt.

    It also loaned a further £12m to an advertising company called Adpod, which during 2015 became 50% owned by VTG. The website admits that the loans, of which £8.5m are still outstanding, should not have cleared its own credit policy.

    RateSetter gives investors option to sell out free due to wholesale “interventions” (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

    RATESETTER is giving all its lenders an option to sell out of their investment free of charges, as part of its wind-down of exposure to its wholesale lending portfolio.

    The peer-to-peer platform wrote to investors on Tuesday to outline “interventions” it has made on three former wholesale lending partners.

    LandlordInvest reaches £1m lending milestone (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

    BUY-TO-LET peer-to-peer platform LandlordInvest has passed the £1m lending milestone.

    The property lender, which launched in December 2016, has amassed 700 investors and completed six loans over the past seven months.

    A vision for a transformed, world-leading industry (The City UK), Rated: AAA

    TheCityUK and PwC’s Strategy& have developed a vision for the future of the industry, drawing on extensive engagement with leaders across the industry and a rigorous fact-based assessment. By 2025:

    1) The industry will have transformed itself to be highly digitised, innovative and customer-centric. It will be a leader in cyber security, using data in a secure and sophisticated way. This will be alongside new technologies, to drive forward significant improvements in the way services are delivered. Firms will be consistently and relentlessly doing what is right for their customers.

    2) London will still be one of the most important and attractive international centres for financial services and global business, retaining the full ecosystem of financial and related professional services. It will continue to play an important domestic role and be a leading FinTech centre that keeps the UK at the forefront of financial innovation.

    3) Regional and national financial centres will have become more important within the UK industry. There must be a strong supply of local talent with the relevant skills, competitive costs and high productivity. Banking, insurance and asset management centres outside of London will continue to develop, hosting more headquarters of major companies. While other regional and national hubs will focus on enhancing specialist roles which serve both UK and global markets.

    Access the full report here.

    The peer-to-peer lending model involves a fair bit of intervention in the market (FT Alphaville), Rated: A

    While Funding Circle (and Zopa, for the most part) allow the losses from loans to fall onto lenders, Ratesetter has built a loss reserve to protect investors from bad debts. This “Provision Fund” is funded by taking a fee when a loan is extended and, in times of stress, can be topped up by diverting interest payments and capital away from investors. This means lenders on Ratesetter need to pay attention to the risk in the overall loan book, rather than any individual borrower.

    At the moment, the Provision Fund has a 119 per cent coverage ratio, so there is enough money in the fund — if you include expected future fees — to cover losses 1.19 times higher than currently expected. Ratesetter’s target ratio is 125 per cent to 150 per cent.

    The important thing here is that the Provision Fund currently has £12.9m in cash and £8.9m of expected future income, versus £18.2m of expected losses. If Ratesetter had let £12m of bad debts suddenly wash into the fund, it would have resulted in a big knock to its coverage ratio. We don’t know what that would do to investor confidence, but it’s fair to say it wouldn’t have helped.

    OFF3R Report Says Equity Crowdfunding Defies Brexit Uncertainty in First 6 Months (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

    OFF3R is out with a report today on the status of equity crowdfunding in the UK. According to their numbers, the UK investment crowdfunding sector is booming. In fact the OFF3R Index states that UK crowdfunding platforms raised a record £130 million during the first half of 2017.

    Additionally, the report states that March of 2017 was a record breaking month as well. Over £40 million was raised with several large crowdfunding rounds on the big three platforms; CrowdcubeSeedrs and SyndicateRoom.

    Retail Banking IT – giving customers what they want (IT ProPortal), Rated: A

    Peru Consulting asked 1000 consumers and 100 Senior IT Leaders in the banking sector.  The results, published in our report – Retail Banking IT: Turn to Face the Change – offer a startling insight into the scale and speed of change and the challenges faced by traditional banking’s IT leaders.

    For example, when asked about the specifics of banking transactions using mobile phones, nearly two thirds (63%) of consumers in the 18-44 age group stated this was important to them, while only 14% of the 55-64 age group felt the same.

    More generally, the next 12 months holds little comfort for the retail banks when it comes to customer loyalty, with 38% of 18-24 year olds and 41% of 25-34 year olds set to change the bank that provides their main account.

    We asked the Senior IT Leaders why they though their customers would be likely to switch banks. Strangely, while 64% recognised that challenger banks are taking their market share, less than 5% recognised that customers might be tempted by new technology such as mobile apps. Given the strength of the GAFA companies and fintechs, this is a dangerous blind spot for the traditional banks.

    Guru Appointed to Head Up Comparison Site (Fintech Finance), Rated: B

    CONSUMER credit comparison site MoneyGuru.com has appointed an experienced channel director to lead its rapid expansion after a successful launch period.

    The site has signalled its intention to disrupt the big four in the comparison market by appointing expert Deborah Vickers who has helped some of the biggest names in the market with optimisation and product development.

    Deborah, 35, from Northwich brings 13 years of experience in technology and IT to the role, many of these within the financial services sector. She started her career at industry leader MoneySupermarket.com as a service desk manager before working her way up to IT delivery manager during her eight year tenure.

    China

    China Is Leapfrogging U.S. In Payments Technology, Ex-Ambassador Max Baucus Says (Forbes), Rated: AAA

    Former U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus on Saturday lauded China’s can-do spirit and cited the country’s rush to online payments as an area where the country was overtaking the United States.

    Baucus was speaking at an annual LendIt fintech conference held in Shanghai that attracted more than 2,000 participants.

    “Apple Pay is trying to be an accepted mode of payment in the United States but it is catching up very slowly,” he said. “It’s disadvantaged, I think, compared with China and other Asian countries’ emerging payment systems. Why? Because established legacy institutions such as banks and credit card companies, while still useful, will soon be overtaken by the new innovative technology being developed here and in other Asian countries.”

    China’s Internet Sector Grows Up (Institutional Investor), Rated: A

    Leading investors who specialize in financial technologies and are taking stakes in new technology startups in the country say China is no longer an innovation laggard and in fact is taking a commanding lead in specific areas.

    Take online payments. Two Chinese Internet giants, Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings, already hold strong leads over their U.S. counterparts in this area. Alipay, for instance, is Alibaba’s online escrow payment system that now counts more than 630 million users globally, of which 450 million are in China. Tencent’s messaging app, WeChat, boasts 900 million users, and its WeChat Pay service has about 600 million active users. Both Alipay and WeChat Pay allow their users to make transactions all over the world using their mobile phones, notes Jones, adding that at present not a single U.S. rival can offer a similar global product.

    Lufax international platform starts up in Singapore (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

    On 17th July, Ping An Insurance announced the affiliate Lufax started a international business platform, Lu International Financial Asset Exchange in Singapore. Lu International was known to have got the capital market service licence(CMS) approved by MAS. It is also the first Chinese fintech company  to have a CMS in Singapore, and will start for operation in the third quarter of 2017.

    Lu International was registered in Singapore in January 2017, after licensed it will provide a series of wealth management services including securities trading, asset management and custody for investors with overseas bank accounts or assets.

    Lu International aim to provide pure online banking services for the Asian middle class, and the investment amount will be among $10 thousand to $1 million,according to Gregory D Gibb, the CEO of LufaxHoldingLtd. The initial product line of Lu International is relatively simple, mainly including monetary fund, fixed income products, bond fund, REITs fund and ETF.

    European Union

    Revolut Introduces Free Personal Euro Accounts Following $ 66 Million Raise (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

    Just days after announcing it secured $66 million through its Series B funding round, digital challenger bank Revolutintroduced free personal euro accounts. The company revealed this new feature enables all its customers, across 42 European countries, to open a free Euro account straight from their smartphone in as little as 60 seconds.

    Getting Paid to Run Up Debt (Handelsblatt.com), Rated: AAA

    It used to be clear: borrowing cost money. But now Smava, a Berlin-based fintech, has broken new ground by offering loans at a negative rate of interest. In other words, paying consumers to borrow. “Anyone borrowing €1,000 ($1150) will only pay back €994,” says Smava boss Alexander Artopé. That translates to a cool -0.4 percent.

    Unsurprisingly, there’s a catch: The largest amount a Smava consumer can borrow at these enviable terms is €1,000, and each person is restricted to a single loan.

    Citi to set up a ‘major new trading operation’ in German city after Brexit (Business Insider), Rated: A

    American banking giant Citi is set to become the latest major financial firm to choose Frankfurt for its post-Brexit EU hub, reports late on Monday suggested.

    Financial centres across the EU — including Frankfurt, Paris, Dublin, and Luxembourg — are battling to attract financial services work moving out of London as a result of Brexit as a result of expected legal changes that will make operating in the EU out of London tricky.

    Frankfurt is emerging as a popular destination for many international firms choosing a post-Brexit base. Three Japanese lenders, Daiwa, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, and Nomura, have all confirmed in recent weeks that they will set up new post-Brexit bases in Frankfurt.

    Cyprus fintech startup Capital.com raises $ 25 million (Tech.eu), Rated: A

    Cyprian fintech startup Capital.com has raised $25 million from Larnabel Enterprises and VP Capital and launched its mobile trading app.

    The Capital.com app allows investors to trade financial products and receive updates from its patent-pending Smart Feed with news, analysis, and research based on user behaviour. The app, the company claims, uses AI to detect common trading biases and patterns.

    International

    What The SoftBank Vision Fund Means For Tech Investing (CB Insights), Rated: AAA

    The SoftBank Vision Fund, first announced in October 2016, has now closed at least $93B of a target $100B to invest in global technology companies – making it the largest tech investment fund in history.

    $100B is an unprecedented sum for a single fund, totaling almost exactly the same amount that all VC-backed companies received in 2016 ($100.8B across 8,372 deals globally, per CB Insights data). Yet the fund’s massive size is raising concerns among some investors, who fear that an influx of high-dollar rounds could overinflate the market and prolong exits while crowding out competing investors.

    With both Saudi Arabia and the UAE — which have contributed a combined $60M of sovereign capital to the fund — counting on the Vision Fund’s investments to diversify their national economies, the stakes are high. Other high-profile investors are also placing bets with the Vision Fund: The Vision Fund has closed contributions of $1B or less from Apple, Qualcomm, Sharp, Foxconn, and Larry Ellison’s family office. (SoftBank’s own $25B rounds out the $93B secured so far.)

    Australia/New Zealand

    Cyber-attacks significant threat but RBNZ says no need for prescriptive requirements (NBR), Rated: AAA

    Cyber-attack poses a significant threat to the global financial system but the Reserve Bank has decided not to introduce more prescriptive requirements at this stage due to the swiftly changing nature of both the threats and the technology, said Reserve Bank head of prudential supervision Toby Fiennes.

    Fiennes said the central bank did not believe prescriptive regulations would appreciably improve the outcome, when the technology and threat landscape are both changing so rapidly.

    VicSuper has launched a digital advice suite called Beeline to strengthen member engagement.

    The digital advice service would act as an online coach to provide members with access to financial advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week, free of cost to members, with the fund saying it would provide super advice at scale.

    Areas of financial advice would include additional contributions and investment asset allocation in their superannuation. The service would also provide general advice to members on retirement adequacy and budgeting goals.

    Surging investor confidence in clean energy drives record $ 2 billion investment from CEFC (Mozo), Rated: B

    The CEFC assisted in a number of clean energy projects in 2016-17 including the establishment of a green loan marketplacewith peer-to-peer lender RateSetter, 500 new energy efficient homes for low income families in New South Wales and ten large-scale solar projects in regional Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

    India

    RentoMojo raises $ 10 mn from Bain Capital Ventures, Renaud Laplanche (The Hindu Business Line), Rated: AAA

    RentoMojo, a consumer product leasing start-up, has raised $10 million (over Rs. 64 crore) from Bain Capital Ventures and Renaud Laplanche.

    The series B funding also saw participation from existing investors, Accel Partners and IDG Ventures, Rentomojo said in a statement today.

    The funds raised will be used to further strengthen the product, finish building a stellar leadership team, and expand into new categories and geographies, it added.

    Asia

    Indonesia: P2P app Julo raises seed funding from Skystar Capital, others (Deal Street Asia), Rated: AAA

    Indonesian peer-to-peer (P2P) lending startup Julo has raised an undisclosed amount of investment in a seed round led by Skystar Capital, along with East Ventures, Convergence Ventures, according to an announcement. A few notable angel investors also participated in the round.

    Julo is focussed on financial inclusion in Indonesia by helping over 100 million people obtain loans for their various personal use.

    Loan applicants can carry out the process from their phones through Julo’s app, where they submit pictures of personal documents and then receive their loan within 24 hours upon successful verification.

    How Singapore-based P2P lending platform Crowd Genie aims to help underbanked SMEs grow (e27), Rated: A

    One of the recipients of the CMS is Singapore-based P2P lending platform Crowd Genie. Like many of its ilk, Crowd Genie was founded by entrepreneurs who saw that certain traditional financial services were rigid and could not serve certain profiles of clients.

    Ideally, the profile of borrowers would be SMEs turning over about S$1 million (US$731,000) to S$5 million (US$3.66 million) in revenue yearly, and would have had a bank loan and a corporate bank account; they would also have to be in operation for about two to four years, and need a short-term funding gap that the banks are not able to extend.

    In place of just traditional financial metrics, Mehra and his co-director Bikash Saha, who has experience in a credit rating agency and retail banking, leverage a hybrid of machine-based learning algorithms combined with hands-on groundwork to assess the credit risk profile of potential borrowers.

    Part of the reason Crowd Genie is still heavily reliant on human input is that its machine-learning algorithm is currently a work-in-progress. Accurate data analytics can only be achieved once there are enough actionable data points.

    Mehra says the next review of the algorithm will take place at the end of the year, when Crowd Genie has accumulated about 300 – 400 cases.

    Currently, institutional investors are qualified to be lenders on Crowd Genie; retail investors are barred.

    Africa

    Will robots narrow the financial advice gap? (Biz Community), Rated: A

    Interestingly, however, a study by international investment house, Legg Mason, personal interaction is still important for these younger investors – 53% of participants in this group indicated that technology can never truly replace personal customer service. This was particularly relevant when it came to retirement and tax planning, but was of less importance when it came to tracking the stock market.

    Furthermore, humans can remove irrelevant data from their memory, which allows for increased learning. Robots, however, store all data, which begs the question around the long-term competency of robo-advice.

    Authors:

    George Popescu
    Allen Taylor