Thursday December 22 2016, Daily News Digest

new MPL loans UK

News Comments Today’s main news: Prosper switches from Experian to TransUnion. RateSetter sells 2.1M BP of non-performing debt. Today’s main analysis: Why 2017 will be a turning point in MPL. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 4 ways U.S. student loan industry could change. Is risk retention the future of MPL? United States Prosper changes credit bureaus. AT: “In […]

new MPL loans UK

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

United States

Notice of PMI7 / TransUnion Migration (Prosper Email), Rated: AAA

Dear Investor,

We are writing to notify you that effective today new borrower applications are being scored on our PMI7 credit model, leveraging TransUnion credit attributes for underwriting.  The primary considerations for the bureau migration are:

  1. TU is the only bureau that delivers historical time-series data in real-time and this information provided meaningful incremental predictive power relative to a snapshot of the current credit bureau alone.

4 big ways America’s student loan industry could change in 2017 (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

There are

Is Risk Retention In The Future Of Marketplace Lending? (Mondaq), Rated: AAA

As marketplace lending continues its dramatic growth and regulators consider how best to protect consumers without limiting financial innovation, the U.S. Treasury has openly expressed an interest in whether marketplace lenders should be subject to some form of “risk retention.” Under new regulations that go into effect later this month, most issuers of asset-backed securities (ABS) will be required to retain a percentage economic interest in the collateral they securitize.

Some believe that applying similar rules to marketplace lenders would ensure that lenders originate high-quality loans, but marketplace lenders uniformly disagree, arguing they are sufficiently motivated to implement stringent underwriting standards and that such rules would hinder innovation.

Although the new risk retention rules likely apply to marketplace lenders that securitize loans and act as a sponsor, it remains unsettled whether similar rules should apply to marketplace lenders in the non-securitization context. Some believe they should.

Marketplace lenders, in contrast, oppose the application of risk retention rules in the non-securitization context. Moreover, online lenders contend that risk retention rules are unnecessary since most investors in marketplace loans are institutional and therefore have the ability to protect themselves through due diligence and representations and warranties.

The subprime mortgage crisis, however, does not necessarily demonstrate the need for risk retention in marketplace lending.

Given federal regulators’ increasing interest in financial technology companies generally, greater regulatory oversight of marketplace lenders seems all but inevitable, and industry participants are bracing themselves for potential changes in the way they do business.

An ‘Uncommon’ Investing Idea for the New Year (Uncommon Wisdom Daily), Rated: A

These days, investors are increasingly venturing outside the stock and bond markets to juice up their returns. This means turning to “alternatives” like precious metals, real estate, trust deeds, promissory notes, limited liability companies and crowdfunding investments, among others. (You can even own them in an IRA!)

It’s called marketplace, direct, online or person-to-person (P2P) lending.

The innovative thing about P2P lending is people can lend and borrow money without ever going to a bank.

Transparency Market Research reports the P2P market was $26 billion in 2015. (Over 60% of which came from the world’s largest P2P lending platform, Lending Club.)

Charles Moldow, a renowned venture capitalist and P2P investor, thinks this market could hit $1 trillion by 2025.

As Ron Suber (Prosper’s CEO) told me last year …

“At some future moment, you will be asked at the point of sale: How do you want to pay for this: cash, credit card, check, PayPal ormarketplace lending? It’s coming.”

Here’s How P2P Investing Works

The main reason I’m recommending P2P investing is outsized yield.

Plus, there are several additional reasons — beyond higher yields — why P2P investing should resonate with mom & pop investors …

  • Higher yields. P2P investing provides a unique opportunity to earn higher yields relative to other asset classes.
  • Low volatility. Prime consumer credit has existed for decades — with a proven track record for consistent returns.
  • Uncorrelated. P2P investing doesn’t follow the traditional ups-and-downs of the market.
  • Safety. According to Lending Club, since 2008, 99% of investors who owned 100-plus notes of relatively equal size have seen positive returns. 81% of those investors have earned 5%-plus over that time.
  • Simplicity. Why try to handpick individual loans?

How to Evaluate Investment Opportunities in CRE Marketplace Lending (NREI Online), Rated: A

It’s no secret that investors are always looking for the best return on their investments. In an effort to achieve that goal, investors have been turning in increasing numbers to peer-to-peer and marketplace lending platforms to achieve a greater return on their fixed-income investments than more traditional vehicles such as U.S. Treasury bonds and CDs. This search for higher yield has led to great growth in the marketplace lending arena. In fact, according to a recent report by American Banker, the industry grew by nearly 700 percent over the past four years.

Given the current economic climate, while many investors are still looking for higher yield, they are also careful to weigh risks associated with their fixed-income investments, seeking out transactions that will serve as a foundation for their financial stability in the future. As a result, investors are beginning to shift their focus from the unsecured debt platforms to those that offer opportunities in secured debt, such as commercial real estate.

The first step to evaluating a marketplace lending platform is to seek out technology processes that help, not hinder, the investment process.

Also, find out whether the investments are backed by collateral, and if that collateral is an income-producing property.

Finally, some platforms also offer low-cost, professionally-managed funds that provide a lower risk because your investment is pooled with others and applied to a unique portfolio of viable transactions.

The key to successful marketplace lending investment, especially in the commercial real estate realm, is knowing when and where to apply the technology, and when and where human judgment and expertise are required.

DV01: Peering into peer-to-peer loans (Forbes India), Rated: A

Rahbar’s all-nighter gave him an insight that would serve him well nearly a decade later. His two-year-old New York City firm, DV01, offers analytics and reporting software for the burgeoning peer-to-peer market, giving investors the ability to track the performance of thousands of loans in a few clicks. Named after a formula traders use to calculate their exposure to interest rate changes, DV01 also automates the laborious financial gymnastics that are needed to model loan performance, and it is on its way to becoming a fixture in the industry’s biggest deals as firms like Lending Club, Prosper and SoFi issue securities to finance their loan pools.

Peer-to-peer lenders originally connected borrowers directly with individual investors, but rising loan demand forced them to turn to Wall Street-style securitisation—the packaging of thousands of individual loans into tradeable securities. Three years ago, Lending Club was the first to market with such a securitisation, and Prosper, SoFi and OnDeck Capital quickly followed. As of the end of September, roughly $11 billion of these loans, according to PeerIQ, has been bundled into securities since 2015.

Rahbar’s startup currently tracks the loans of Lending Club and eight other originators and counts 55 institutions as clients. All told it has logged in some $34 billion in loans. DV01 is backed by $7.5 million in capital from Leucadia National (Jefferies’s parent), Pivot Investment Partners and a fund controlled by George Soros.

IPO Dreams: Fintech Turmoil Is Disrupting SoFi (LC, ONDK) (Investopedia), Rated: A

So it may be no surprise that startup Social Finance Inc. (SoFi), which boasted last year that it was profitable and planned an IPO in spring of 2016, has announced its postponing pubic offering plans — again. SoFi has been one of the poster children of fintech’s potential with a value of $4 billion.

There’s no doubt that SoFi’s prospects for an IPO have been hurt by broader problems in the online lending market, illustrated by Lending Club and On Deck Capital.

How machine learning can redefine lending (Bobs Guide), Rated: A

Technology has played a significant role in the rapid evolution of the lending industry. One such technology, machine learning, is beginning to create new avenues in the lending market.

Though machine learning is not a novel concept, the influx of big data and data mining has given it a shot in the arm by integrating it in our day to day lives. Machine learning today is being implemented in various industries, from financial services, healthcare and retail to transportation, and multiple domains like accounting, audit, marketing and sales. Gartner identified it as a top ten strategic technology trend in 2016, with advances occurring rapidly.

Machine learning enables predictive modelling in credit scoring. Credit scoring is an important process in loan management. While the traditional credit score uses basic statistical tools to arrive at the result, machine learning involves data mining at a large scale by aggregating data through wider channels like Yelp scores, social media activity, and real-time shipping trends. This consecutively delivers a more accurate and meticulous portrait of creditworthiness.

Machine learning can also help in streamlining the lending process, eliminating errors and expediting the loan application approval process.

Machine learning can also help in predicting bad loans and in on-going monitoring of loans.

Schwab RIAs: Accept and adopt digital platforms, or lose your competitive edge (Financial Planning), Rated: A

Schwab surprised the industry with the recent launch of a hybrid robo adviser offering, since it had already two operational digital platforms with over $10 billion in AUM — Schwab Intelligent Portfolios and Schwab Institutional Intelligent Portfolios.

Heburn: First of all, we’re not scared of it. We didn’t look at it as this coming gloom and doom of robotic investment management that’s going to put us out of business. We really looked at it as an opportunity to reach a whole different segment of clientele efficiently in a way [where] we could eventually make money.

Kessler: We don’t consider Betterment or Wealthfront competitors actually. They’re playing in an entirely different field of service than we are. We’re giving a dedicated adviser and a personal relationship.

AI Could Take Over Routine Financial Advice Tasks (Finanial Advisor IQ), Rated: B

Financial advice firms need to embrace artificial intelligence to replace mundane tasks carried out by humans so they can remain competitive, according to a new report from natural language recognition software provider Narrative Science.

Thirty-two percent of companies across the financial services industry are already using AI for predictive analytics, voice recognition and response and recommendations, according to a survey of more than 100 executives in the industry conducted by the National Business Research Institute and Narrative Science this spring.

AI is also coming to the fore when it comes to controlling spending. Apps such as Moven and Simple already deliver personalized automated recommendations based on machine-learned spending and earning habits of their users, according to the report, although it could be a matter of time before such programs reach the financial advice market.

United Kingdom

RateSetter Sells £2.1 Million of Non-Performing Debt to 1st Credit (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

RateSetter, a leading UK peer to peer lending platform, has completed the sale of £2.1 million of non-performing debt. RateSetter sold the assets t 1st Credit, a debt purchaser.  Exact terms of the transaction were not revealed but RateSetter said it was the first transaction of its kind for a UK peer to peer lending platform.

The non-performing loans were written between 2010 and 2015. RateSetter said it believed there was a low chance for them to collect on the assets. RateSetter said that typically in these situations they have not been able to contact the borrower for a long period of time, or where it has not been possible to put in place a debt management plan with the borrower.

Here’s why 2017 will be a turning point for the UK marketplace lending industry (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

The UK’s marketplace lending sector is one of the world’s

Zopa Named Winner at AltFi Awards & F5 Awards (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Zopa announced on Tuesday it was named a winner at both the AltFi Awards and F5 Awards. The peer-to-peer lender revealed it took home a number of prizes at AltFi and was dubbed Best P2P Lending Platform at the F5 awards.

One to One: Filip Karadaghi, chief executive, Landlordinvest (Mortgage Strategy), Rated: A

We are quite late to the party and many P2P lending platforms have been operating under interim permission with time to develop their business, so we will have to learn from them and use that knowledge to develop our own value proposition quickly.

I believe that the future for P2P buy-to-let and bridging is very bright.

According to the latest crowdfunding report from Nesta, which publishes the leading research report in the P2P industry, real estate loans is the fastest growing sector in P2P.

The future of fintech (Credit Strategy), Rated: B

Speaking at Credit Strategy’s inaugural F5 conference this month, at the London Hilton Bankside, Stefan Franzke, chief executive of Berlin Partner for business and technology, was complimentary about the importance of London as a business centre.

He described the initial impact Brexit had on fintech firms recalling how he received hundreds of messages from businesses contemplating leaving the UK.

However, Franzke said he believes London will still be the financial centre like it is today in 10 years.

He discussed how the peer-to-peer lending market is working to target SMEs and how some banks are even looking at acquiring or creating their own platforms.

European Union

Online Lending Platform Credimi Signs Agreements with Four Primary Investment Funds (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Four primary investment funds have signed agreements with Credimi, an Italy-based online lending platform. The funds have subscribed the entire portfolio of (performing) commercial credits originated by the invoice financing platform in the first year. Credimi is the first fintech company authorized by Bank of Italy to the public financing activity, according to art. 106 of Testo Unico Bancario, entailing extremely rigorous control and governance requirements.

The four partners are Anima Sgr, Anthilia Capital Partners Sgr, BG Fund Management Luxembourg S.A. and Tikehau Capital.

Unlike other similar products in Europe, the Credimi model foresees the subscription of the loans portfolio even before Credimi originates the commercial credits (Credimi focuses exclusively on the acquisition of performing receivables). This, alongside the proprietary risk analysis technology and Credimi’s capability to carry out public financing activity, allows to instantly finance SMEs’ invoices.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

August 23rd 2016, Daily News Digest

August 23rd 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s most interesting piece of news are LendUp’s $47m raise;  how the new fiduciary retirement rules will help the robo-advisor industry; how the Dodd Frank securitization risk-retention rules already affect Lending Club , Prosper and Web Bank; Financeit leveraging merchants for consumer loans; and last but not least how Australian banks are fighting […]

August 23rd 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments

  • Today’s most interesting piece of news are LendUp’s $47m raise;  how the new fiduciary retirement rules will help the robo-advisor industry; how the Dodd Frank securitization risk-retention rules already affect Lending Club , Prosper and Web Bank; Financeit leveraging merchants for consumer loans; and last but not least how Australian banks are fighting an open-data APIs mandate.

United States

Canada

United Kingdom

China

Australia

United States

LendUp fights big banks with $ 47 M for compassionate credit cards, (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Banks win when the poor lose. Credit cards can trap people in debt and bleed them dry with late fees. But it’s this exploitative experience that makes banks vulnerable to fintech startups like LendUp that are willing to undercut them and make up margin with software efficiency.

It’s that strategy of building an enduring consumer banking brand on the principle of compassion that let LendUp raise a new $47.5 million round led by Y Combinator’s growth fund. This Series C values LendUp “substantially higher than the last time” it raised in January 2016, says CEO Sasha Orloff. That’s an impressive feat during a rough season for late-stage fundraising.

LendUp will apply the cash toward scaling out its L Card, a credit card with no hidden fees and a flexible payback schedule.

LendUp was founded in 2011, and first attacked the scammy payday-loan business. It stole customers from the cash-advance storefronts that blanket low-income neighborhoods, and retained them by providing financial education.

Credit cards are 100X larger market, though, so earlier this year it raised $100 million in debt to fund the lending, and $50 million in a Series B.

Even though it still had plenty of money left from that, LendUp chose to accelerate its plan with today’s $47.5 million led by Y Combinator Continuity and joined by Google Ventures, Thomvest Ventures, QED Investors, Data Collective, Susa Ventures, Radicle Impact, Bronze Investments, SV Angel and some angels.

Luckily, LendUp is doing one thing to make it more nimble than its competitors: It’s building its whole tech stack in-house. “Everyone else outsources their tech,” Orloff notes.

Technology’s rising role under DoL fiduciary, (Tradestreaming), Rated: A

In April 2017, retirement guidance over 401(k)s and IRAs will need to be given under a fiduciary responsibility. The DoL rule, meant to protect common investors, requires financial advice and retirement guidance over 401(k) and IRAs to be given under a fiduciary responsibility. This means advisors must put the interests of clients first, before the advisors’ own interests or those of the advisors’ firms.

About 50% of 401(k) rollovers to IRAs can be attributed to a decision by an advisor, a sum totaling about $320 billion each year, according to Yuval Zurel, CEO of FeeX, a company that uses big data to determine whether a 401(k) rollover is compliant with the new DoL fiduciary rule.

Large firms surveyed by Deloitte estimate their costs of becoming compliant to be over $38 million, with additional ongoing expenses to vendors and suppliers to manage the duplicate systems at $9.5 million.

One concern raised by opponents to the rule package is that smaller retirement accounts may be orphaned, as lower fees will make them unprofitable for brokers. Technology consultancy CGI recommends that firms handle smaller accounts through roboadvisors, which will lower the cost of managing those accounts.

Issuers Flummoxed by Risk-Retention Rule, (Anonymous tip), Rated: AAA

A swat of asset-backed bond issuers have fallen behind schedule in their preparations to comply with the Dodd-Frank Act’s risk-retention rule.

Securitization attorneys initially expected the process to be straightforward, with most sponsors keeping the required 5% stakes in their deals via either “horizontal” interest in a single class or “vertical” positions in each tranche. But a number of unforeseen complications have sent them back to the drawing board.

The obstacles appear largest for issuers of securities backed by auto loans, equipment cash-flows and personal loans.

WebBank, which serves as the originator of record for Lending Club and Prosper loans, apparently has received inquiries about acting as a sponsor but has turned down any such proposals. One option, at least for Lending Club, would be to create a new sponsor entity through a hedge fund that the company already uses to fund some of its loans.

How Wise Are Crowd? A Comparative Study of Crowd and Institutions in Peer-to-Business Online Lending Markets, (Social Science Research Network), Rated: A

This paper examines the performance of crowd to screen the creditworthiness of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) compared with institutions in the context of new online peer-to-business lending markets. Exploiting the randomized assignment of originated loans to institutions and the crowd, we find that crowd underperform institutions in screening SMEs, thereby failing to lend at interest rates that adjust for the likelihood of defaulting on a loan. Moreover, the underperformance gap of crowd compared with institutions widens with risky and small loans, suggesting that crowd lack the expertise to assess the risks or the incentive to expend resources to perform due diligence. Overall, our findings highlight when crowd face limitations in screening SMEs.

THE REGTECH REPORT: Global regulatory requirements are creating a huge opportunity for regtech firms, (Business Insider), Rated: A

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Regtechs can help in many areas of compliance. This goes beyond automating legacy processes and can include interpreting legislation, designing new compliance processes, and managing and processing data.
  • Large financial firms represent the biggest opportunity for regtechs, but they’re also well suited to help fintech startups.
  • Regtechs face a number of hurdles to achieving significant scale and success. These include competition in the industry, the challenges of international growth, and building trust with customers.
  • Implementation of regtech solutions will result in staff reduction. These technologies will augment compliance teams in the short term, but could lead to job losses among compliance professionals in the longer term.

 In full, the report:

  • Defines what regtech is and the problems regtechs are trying to solve.
  • Highlights the advantages regtechs have over legacy compliance solutions.
  • Provides regtech company case studies.
  • Details the outlook for regtechs globally and the impact they will have on compliance teams.

 Canada

Businesses and consumers win as Financeit launches Canada’s next-generation point-of-sale financing platform, (Email from Financeit), Rated: A

Financeit, Canada’s leading cloud-based point-of-sale financing platform, has launched Financeit Direct, a direct-to-consumer tool geared towards merchants looking to offer financing solutions to customers for big-ticket purchases, such as home renovations.

Financeit is a free-to-use platform that makes it easy for businesses to offer powerful financing options to their customers from any device. The company provides financing solutions through a safe and secure platform that traditionally were only available to big box retailers.

Since launching in 2011, Financeit has worked with over 6,000 retail, vehicle, home improvement and healthcare businesses to process more than $1.5 billion in loans in Canada and the United States.  Financeit is a private company and has raised money from a variety of shareholders, including Goldman Sachs and FIS Global.

With Financeit Direct, service providers retain control of the sale but can invite their customers –by email or text– to participate in the application anytime, anywhere. For example, merchants may ask their customers to upload a picture of a void cheque or pay stub directly to Financeit via their mobiles phones, thereby avoiding awkward financial discussions and making the application process smoother and faster. Consumers get instant credit decisions, fair rates and full transparency during the financing process via their own devices, and are then able to work directly with Financeit throughout the loan period.

United Kingdom

Misys eyes £5.5bn IPO – Sunday Times, (Finextra), Rated: A

Core banking supplier Misys has appointed advisors ahead of a possible £5.5 billion London initial public offering, according to the Sunday Times.

The float would prove a boon for Vista Equity Partners, which acquired Misys in 2012 for just £1.27 billion after merger talks between the core banking vendor and Swiss rival Temenos collapsed.

Vista is understood to have been looking for a buyer since late 2014, with Singapore’s state-owned investment fund Temasek Holdings and Canadian pension funds among those rumoured to have shown interest.

Bank of England may cut rates again in September: BAML, (Markets), Rated: A

The Old Lady of Threadneedle street could reduce rates even closer to zero if UK data prints don’t start improving, according to one American investment bank, and that may still not be enough to boost the ailing economy.

China

China Lending Corporation Reports 2016 Six-Month Financial Results, (Business Wire), Rated: AAA

China Lending Corporation (NASDAQ:CLDC; CLDCW) (“China Lending” or the “Company”), a leading non-bank direct lending corporation servicing micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSME), currently underserved by commercial banks in China, today reported its financial results for the six-month period ending June 30, 2016.

Founded in 2009, China Lending is a non-bank direct lending corporation and provides services to micro, small and medium sized enterprises, farmers, and individuals, who are currently underserved by commercial banks in China. Headquartered in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Autonomous Region, with a registered capital of $94.7 million as of June 30, 2016, China Lending is one of the largest direct lending companies in the region in terms of registered capital.

First Half 2016 vs. First Half 2015

Total interest and fee income (revenue) increased 30% to $17.8 million from $13.8 million;
Interest expense was $2.4 million compared to $1.6 million;
Net interest income increased 18% to $13.8 million, compared to $11.6 million; and
Net income increased 30% to $9.9 million, compared to $7.6 million.

As of June 30, 2016

Registered capital was $94.7 million
Total assets were $147.8 million
Total liabilities were $37.1 million

Jingping Li, Co-Founder & CEO of China Lending, stated, “The 30% increase in revenue and net income for the 2016 six-month period as compared to same period of last year is due to the sustained growth in funding demand in the region, higher interest lending rates supported by China’s government policies, and also revenue generated from our newly established consulting and credit risk analysis business segment, which we launched in August of 2015. This segment generated approximately 23% of total revenue for the first six months of 2016 as compared to zero in the same period of last year. Our average interest rate was 22.77% in the first six-months of 2016 vs. 21.24% in the same period of last year.

Currently, China Lending is one of the largest direct lending companies in Xinjiang, in terms of registered capital which reached $94.7 million at June 30, 2016.

Australia

Banks resist fintech push for open data regime, ( AFR), Rated: A

The issue of start-up access to data is a global one. The Competition and Markets Authority in the UK said last week that banks should be required to implement open banking by early 2018 and to share their data securely with other banks and with third parties, enabling them to manage their accounts with multiple providers through a single digital ‘app’, to take more control of their funds (for example to avoid overdraft charges and manage cashflow) and to compare products on the basis of their own requirements.

The Productivity Commission’s review into ‘Data availability and use’ is looking at whether a system of “open APIs” [application programming interfaces] could be created along the lines of a new regime in Britain to allow competitors to plug directly into data sets held by banks, such as transaction account activity.

Fintech Australia has asked the commission to recommend an “open banking API” regime be mandated within two years.

In its submission to the commission, the Australian Bankers’ Association acknowledges that increasing access to data could create more targeted and tailored products but said this should be allowed to occur organically.

But Fintech Australia, on behalf of 25 start-ups, data aggregators and venture capital investors, says an “open banking API” standard would increase productivity, reduce the cost, time and effort required to switch banks, and would “empower consumers to use their data to be able to make better financial decisions”.

Separate submissions by the ABA, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, ANZ Banking Group, Insurance Australia Group and the Australian Securities Exchange all urge the government to not regulate to mandate open-data sharing.

The ABA said building an open banking standard was “likely to be a very costly exercise for banks” and would provide competitors with access to a valuable commercial asset. “The banking industry notes that business and customer relationship data are a valuable commercial asset and are subject to extensive investment, privacy and other obligations,” the ABA said. “Changes should not be made that may affect the ability of businesses to manage their data in the interests of customers and owners.”

Author:

George Popescu