Wednesday August 22 2018, Daily News Digest

Elevate Credit

News Comments Today’s main news: Elevate Credit expected to announce $203.49M in sales. Ant Financial delays IPO again. SocietyOne getting close to $500M in total lending, six years in. ClearScore to offer credit scores in India. Capital Float buys Sequoia and Walnut. Today’s main analysis: 10 years after financial crisis, credit market on upward curve. Today’s thought-provoking articles: New […]

Elevate Credit

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China

International

India

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News Summary

United States

Brokerages Anticipate Elevate Credit Inc (ELVT) Will Announce Quarterly Sales of $ 203.49 Million (Baseball Daily Digest) Rated: AAA

Equities research analysts forecast that Elevate Credit Inc (NYSE:ELVT) will post $203.49 million in sales for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Two analysts have issued estimates for Elevate Credit’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $201.00 million to $205.97 million. Elevate Credit reported sales of $172.85 million during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 17.7%. The firm is expected to report its next quarterly earnings report on Monday, October 29th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Elevate Credit will report full-year sales of $803.23 million for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $801.00 million to $805.45 million. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the company will report sales of $927.09 million per share, with estimates ranging from $926.97 million to $927.20 million. Zacks’ sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that follow Elevate Credit.

Financial Crisis – 10 Years Later: Consumer Credit Market on an Upward Curve (Nasdaq) Rated: AAA

Ten years after the biggest financial crisis to hit the United States since the Great Depression, much has changed in the consumer credit marketplace. Serious delinquency rates have recovered since that period, and the credit quality of consumers has broadly improved. Yet the crisis has had a profound effect on consumer access to credit and the relationship they have with it.

TransUnion’s (NYSE:TRU) just-released Q2 2018 Industry Insights Report allows for comparisons between Americans’ credit preferences today versus 2008, specifically in the auto finance, credit card, mortgage and unsecured personal loan markets.

Source: TransUnion

Lawmaker Questions FinTech Industry Over Lending Practices (Govtech) Rated:A

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) released a report Friday detailing the lending practices of some prominent fintech companies, finding that some companies could be discriminating against minorities and calling for more transparency from the fintech sector.

Fintech companies are somewhat controversial because many engage in traditional banking practices, and some consumers and regulators are calling for them to be regulated like traditional banks.

Small banks need big data to maintain customer service edge (American Banker) Rated: A

Big data isn’t just for big banks.

The modern banking customer wants advanced online and mobile banking options, and delivering such services requires even the smallest community bank to get a handle on customer data, said Corey LeBlanc, chief technology officer and vice president at Origin Bank.

Blockchain Meets REIT – A New Era in Real Estate Investing (Market Insider) Rated: A

Building Block, Inc. announced today it is the first North American REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) to embrace the emerging efficiencies of blockchain technology and provide a new way to invest in one of the world’s most well-known and trusted assets, real estate.   Blockchain technology will enable Building Block REIT to virtually eliminate friction in REIT shareholder communication by allowing direct dividend disbursement, secure user voting, and smart contract functions that execute automatically when pre-set parameters are met.

Building Block REIT plans to raise funds in the form of a digital initial public offering (Digital IPO) accepting payments via U.S. Dollars or fractional Ethereum cryptocurrency.  Investors worldwide will be able to purchase shares in Building Block REIT on SEC compliant alternative trading systems (ATS) or peer-to-peer exchanges with whitelisted parties to invest in US commercial office, multi-family and mixed-use real estate.

JPMorgan launching Roar platform for crowdsourced data (Business Insider) Rated: A

JPMorgan’s corporate and investment bank is best known for advising businesses on billion-dollar acquisitions, helping private unicorns tap into the public markets, and managing the cash of Fortune 500 companies.

But now it is quietly working on a new platform that would go far beyond anything the firm has previously done, using crowdsourcing to accumulate massive amounts of data intended to one day help its clients make complex decisions about how to run their businesses, according to people familiar with the project.

The platform, called Roar by JPMorgan, would store sensitive private data, such as hospital records or satellite imagery, that’s not in the public domain. Typically, this type of information is exchanged between firms on a bilateral arrangement so it is not improperly used. But Roar would allow clients to tap into this data, which they could then use in a secure fashion to make forecasts and gain business insights.

New Report Shows Identity Verification a Priority for eCommerce and Online Lending Businesses (Global News) Rated: A

A new report from Whitepages Pro shows that an overwhelming majority of North American companies in ecommerce and financial services surveyed consider identity verification to be a top business priority but many still don’t believe they do it well or have all the data and tools they need to be successful. For the report, “The State of Identity Verification Maturity in North America,” businesses were asked, among other things, to rank themselves on a 4-stage scale of identity verification maturity for how they use identity data to combat fraud and improve the customer experience.

Among the report’s key findings:

  • Driven by the belief that fraud attempts are increasing in frequency and sophistication, identity verification is a priority for most organizations (93 percent). While they vary in the degree to which they use advanced techniques, most organizations want to improve their identity verification methods and outcomes. Just 2 percent believe they are completely successful at identity verification.
  • Organizations want access to more data points (just 13 percent say they have all the data they need) and see data linkages (the relationships between data elements) as a way to improve their identity verification processes. While access to traditional data (like a street address) is common, many still don’t have or use digital data (like an IP address). Most of the survey respondents believe linking data reduces fraud with 77 percent believing it increases confidence in a customer’s identity.
  • Organizations want more and improved identity verification automation. However they often rely on in-house (such as historical data and white/black lists) that make it difficult to expand the use of automation, resulting in an over reliance on costly and time consuming manual reviews. A large majority (71 percent) believe machine learning can play a role in reducing manual reviews and making identity verification more effective.

Bank of the West exec bolts for startup, sees chance ‘to redefine retail banking’ (American Banker) Rated: A

Thibault Fulconis, who until recently was chief operating officer of Bank of the West, has joined the fintech digital banking startup Varo Money as its chief financial officer.

Varo Money is a mobile-first challenger bank that aims to help Americans achieve financial health. It is in the same league as Chime, Digit, Moven, MoneyLion, Qapital and N26.

White Oak Healthcare Finance Closes $ 40 Million Financing for LifeCare Holdings, Inc. (Business Wire) Rated: A

White Oak Healthcare Finance, LLC (“White Oak”), today announced it acted as lead lender and administrative agent on the funding of a $40 million asset based senior credit facility for LifeCare Holdings, Inc. (“LifeCare”). The funds were primarily used to refinance existing indebtedness. White Oak previously announced the financing of LifeCare Home Health LLC, the home health entity owned by LifeCare.

TradeStation Launches New Fully Paid Lending Program (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

TradeStation, a Monex Group company and award-winning online broker-dealer and futures commission merchant, today announced the launch of its Fully Paid Lending Program. This program allows qualified equities account holders the opportunity to earn interest income on lendable securities in their accounts.

Under the Fully Paid Lending Program, TradeStation identifies stocks in qualified accounts that are eligible for lending. Based on market demand, some or all of a qualified client’s fully paid positions or excess-margin securities may be lent out to other financial institutions to satisfy their customers’ position requirements. While their stocks are on loan, clients automatically receive 50% of the net proceeds earned by TradeStation for lending out the shares, which is accrued daily and automatically posted monthly to their accounts. Daily income ceases to accrue when the client sells a lendable stock or the stock is no longer on loan.

US wakes up to SME cybersecurity needs (Fintech Futures) Rated: B

US President Donald Trump has signed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Small Business Cybersecurity Act, a bill which will provide a set of resources for small businesses to best protect their digital assets from cybersecurity threats.

United Kingdom

Private credit offers an escape from miserly bond yields (Citywire) Rated: AAA

For reasons that are quite clear if you follow my writings on a regular basis, equities and bonds will most likely deliver disappointing returns for many years to come.

My central forecast is an annual average inflation-adjusted return of 0-2% on a global portfolio consisting of 40% bonds and 60% equities between now and 2050.

The good news next.  Fortunately, there are many things you can do to improve on those lacklustre numbers. Those returns are for the lazy investor; someone who invests passively.

China

Ant Financial IPO plans pushed back again (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

A blockbuster listing of Ant Financial, the fast-growing electronic payment affiliate of China’s leading tech group Alibaba, has again been delayed as it continues to burn through cash and come under pressure from Beijing’s crackdown on non-traditional financial institutions.

Ant was valued at $150bn in its last private fundraising in June, a round that bankers said paved the way for an initial public offering as early as this year.

Moody’s: China’s new measures on P2P lending are credit positive (ECNS) Rated: AAA

The global credit rating agency Moody’s called China’s newly-issued regulations on peer-to-peer lending platforms are “credit positive”, because they will strengthen protections to individual lenders and prevent risk spilling over to the broader financial system.

Moody’s commentary came after Chinese regulators announced 10 measures to address risks related to P2P lending platforms on August 12. The P2P platforms enable individuals to lend directly to borrowers through the Internet.

The new regulations clarified responsibilities of P2P platforms and their shareholders, stipulated conditions for orderly liquidation of failed platforms, outlined penalties for borrowers that escape their debt obligations and prohibited registration of new platforms.

Next Step to Regulating P2P Lending Platforms — Figuring Out Who Owns Them (Caixin Global) Rated: A

Months into the crisis in China’s online lending industry, regulators want to know who actually owns the country’s peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms.

The National Internet Finance Association of China (NIFA) issued a notice on Monday designed to help it keep tabs on key stakeholders in China’s online P2P lending platforms as financial and legal difficulties continue to engulf the business.

The effort to bring greater clarity to the workings of P2P platforms comes after hundreds of online platforms have encountered financial and legal troubles in the last few months. In July, at least 165 P2P platforms had difficulties meeting cash-withdrawal demands, saw their owners abscond with investor funds, or were investigated by police, according to a report by internet lending research firm Wangdaizhijia. The number was nearly triple that in June, Wangdaizhijia said.

In-Depth: Police Launch Global Hunt for ‘Solar King’ Caught Up in P2P Bust (Caixin Global) Rated: AAA

Peng Xiaofeng was once China’s youngest billionaire and a rising star in the solar industry. But the founder of now-bankrupt LDK Solar has been put on China’s most-wanted list, hunted by law enforcement agencies for illegal fund-raising by his peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Solarbao.com.

Police in the city of Suzhou, where Solarbao.com is registered, want Interpol to issue a Red Notice against 43-year-old Peng, who is accused of swindling more than 5,000 investors and leaving a trail of debt amounting to 220 million yuan ($32.1 million). They have also branded the platform, a subsidiary of Nasdaq-listed SPI Energy Co. Ltd., a fraud.

HuaAn Finds Itself Target of Investor Ire After P2P Company Accused of Fraud (Caixin Global) Rated: A

The Shanghai office of fund manager HuaAn Future Asset Management Co. Ltd.was surrounded on Monday by throngs of angry investors who blame the company for what they perceive to be its role in an online-lending fraud. HuaAn denies any involvement.

Monday’s protest centered on P2P site PPMiao.com, which was accused of illegal fundraising by police in the eastern city of Hangzhou, where PPMiao.com operator Guangxi PPMiao Internet Technology Co. Ltd. is registered. HuaAn held a 37.5% stake on behalf of an asset management plan in PPMiao.com’s former operator, Hangzhou Fuqian Network Technology Co. Ltd., as of June 30, making HuaAn the target of investor ire when PPMiao.com’s financial problems surfaced.

International

Many countries don’t use credit scores like the US — here’s how they determine your worth (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

In the US, a good credit score can feel like a key determinant of success. It defines how good an interest rate you can get on a car loan or mortgage, the quality of credit card you can get approved for, or if you’ll get approved for any credit at all.

The better your score, the better the perks. A bad score can become a black mark that leads to missing out on the home you want (credit checks are a common aspect of apartment applications), higher car insurance rates, or even difficulty getting a cell phone, according to Nerdwallet.

But as monolithic as the credit score seems, many countries in the world handle credit very differently — with many having no credit score system at all.

Blockchain Can Help Peer-To-Peer Car Lending Schemes Gain Traction (Market News) Rated: A

Blockchain technology can help car-sharing companies to track a person using the car any time. According to industry analysts, the car sharing economy is expected to hit $335 billion by the year 2025.

The car sharing idea has been gaining a lot of interest among car drivers over the recent years. According to estimates by Global Market Insight, the peer-to-peer car sharing sector will amount to $11 billion. The growth has largely been attributed to raising cost of owning a car.

The biggest challenge with the Peer-to-peer lending system is trust. The car owner has to have total trust in the person hiring the car. Additionally, the car owner has to be sure that the hirer has enough money to cover the period the car is hired. The owner of the vehicle would also like to track where the car is as well as the condition in which it is being driven. On the side of the hirer, they would love to know if they are hiring the car from the original owner and that the data exchanged between the two parties is secure.

Australia

SocietyOne Celebrates Sixth Anniversary; Total Lending Now Approaching $ 500 Million (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Australia-based marketplace lender SocietyOne announced celebrated its sixth anniversary of operations as total lending since inception approaches $500 million.

SocietyOne also reported it has more than 20,000 customers and since the beginning of 2016, total lending has grown nearly 6 times and the lender’s loan book now totals over $220 million, up from $41 million at the start of 2016.

India

UK’s fintech startup ClearScore set to offer credit scores in India (Economic Times) Rated: AAA

UK-headquartered fintech startup ClearScore is all set to start its business in India offering credit scores to Indian consumers in partnership with Experian, free of cost, to improve the awareness levels of the consumers regarding credit. India is their second international market after the company started operations in South Africa last year.

ClearScore will be available on Google Play Store and will provide details of the credit score, giving alerts about changes in the score and provide details about how consumers can improve the score.

Capital Float buys Sequoia & SAIF-backed Walnut for $ 30 mn (VC Circle) Rated: AAA

Bengaluru-based digital lending platform Capital Float has acquired personal finance management app-maker Walnut for $30 million (Rs 209 crore) in a cash and stock deal, a company statement said. Both the companies count Sequoia Capital and SAIF Partners as common venture capital investors.

Walnut allows users to track spends, check on credit and bank balance, bill payments and split expenses within a group. In July 2017, it launched a small ticket credit line for its users called Walnut Prime based on user data and consumer behaviour. The platform has so far disbursed Rs 100 crore in consumer loans.

OfBusiness Raises INR 200 Crore in Series C Financing (FinSMEs) Rated: A

OfBusiness, a Gurgaon, India – based technology enabled SME financing platform, raised INR 200 crore (approx $29m) in Series C financing.

The round was led by Creation Investments and Falcon Edge with participation from existing investors Matrix Partners India and Zodius Capital. With this new round of funding, the company has raised a total of INR 500 crore of equity and debt funding to date. It has also raised debt lines from Kotak, Tata Capital, RBL Bank and Northern Arc amongst other lending partners.

The capital will be used for continued rapid growth and model scaling.

Five Star Business Finance Raises USD$ 100M in Funding (FinSMEs) Rated: A

Five Star Business Finance Limited, a Chennai, India–based fully-secured small business financing company focused on South India, raises USD$100M in funding.

The round was led by alternative asset firm TPG, with participation from existing investors Norwest Venture Partners, an investment fund managed by Morgan Stanley, and Sequoia Capital. The company’s first investor, Matrix Partners India, continues to stay invested in the company.

Led by D. Lakshmipathy, Chairman and Managing Director, Five Star is a non-bank finance company providing loans to nearly 40,000 customers.

P2P Online Lending Startup Finzy Completes $ 2.3 Mn Pre-Series A Fund Raise (Indian Web) Rated: A

Bangalore-based peer to peer (P2P) lending platform Finzy on Monday announced raising funds worth USD 2.3 million in Pre-Series A round, including USD 1.3 million raised in the first tranche in March 2018.

This funding round has been funded by senior professionals from BFSI industry and successful entrepreneurs. The startup plans to use the freshly raised capital for geographical expansion, technology investment and stronger distribution networks.

Founded in 2016, by Abhinandan Sangam, Amit More and Vishwas Dixit, Finzy is a premier P2P lending solution in India that connect borrowers with investors and make the entire process simple and easy so that one can get a loan in as little as 48 hours.

Five things you should know before lending on P2P platform (Economic Times) Rated: A

Don’t let greed cloud your judgment. If you are in a tearing hurry to pocket double-digit returns, you are likely to overlook many warnings signs. That is why it is always better to start with a small amount, learn the ropes, before going for the kill.

Different platforms have different ticket size for lending. With companies like Faircent offering as low as Rs 750 per loan. The ROI would vary as per the borrower profile and loan tenure. The total amount invested by a lender across all P2P-NBFCs is capped at Rs 10 lakh, as per the existing RBI norms.

The RBI came out with regulations for P2P companies in October. There are around 30 online P2P companies in India, of which only eight have received a certificate of registration (CoR) from the RBI to carry out P2P lending activities.

Asia

Singapore police recover S$ 27 million linked to China Ponzi scheme (Channel News Asia) Rated: AAA

Singapore police said on Tuesday (Aug 21) they have recovered more than S$27 million linked to one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in China, which saw 1.15 million investors cheated out of 38 billion yuan (S$7 billion).

Ezubao, once China’s biggest peer-to-peer lending platform, folded in 2016 after it turned out to be an online scam that concocted fake projects to attract investment and pocketed funds instead of passing them to borrowers to generate returns.

Latin American

Mexico’s new government wants fintech, banks to help financial inclusion (Channel News Asia) Rated: AAA

Mexico’s next government will look to fintech companies and large corporate banks to increase financial inclusion in the country, where only one-third of adults have a bank account, senior officials said on Tuesday.

Arturo Herrera, one of two future deputy finance ministers, said in an interview that the lack of financial inclusion was one of the biggest obstacles in the new government’s fight against poverty, inequality and slow economic growth.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday May 15 2018, Daily News Digest

McKinsey Asia Personal Financial Services Survey Customers and Digital only Banks

News Comments Today’s main news: Prosper loan originations up 27% year-over-year, over $2B co-sponsored securitizations closed. Funding Circle launches new borrower referral incentive. Renren investors seek to block asset sales. PayMate acquires Z2P Technologies. Today’s main analysis: Singapore’s biggest bank vs. China’s tech giants. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 80% of startup money goes to three states. The Sharestates story: $1B […]

McKinsey Asia Personal Financial Services Survey Customers and Digital only Banks

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

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News Summary

United States

Prosper Loan Originations up 27% Year-over-Year; Over $ 2 Billion of Co-Sponsored Securitizations Closed (Business Wire) Rated: AAA

Prosper today reported financial results for the first quarter of 2018. Loan originations increased 27% year-over-year to $744 million, driven by strong demand for the company’s personal loan product and stable funding.

Financial highlights include:

  • Total Net Revenue, which includes the non-cash impact related to warrants to purchase preferred stock, was flat year-over-year at $30.5 million in Q1 2018 compared to $30.8 million in Q1 2017.
  • Core Revenue(1), which excludes the non-cash impact related to warrants to purchase preferred stock, increased $11.6 million or 34% year-over-year to $45.7 million in Q1 2018 compared to $34.2 million in Q1 2017.
  • Net Loss decreased by $12.6 million to ($11.4) million in Q1 2018 compared to a Net Loss of ($24.0) million in Q1 2017.
  • Adjusted EBITDA(1) increased $13.6 million to $4.5 million in Q1 2018 compared to ($9.0) million in Q1 2017, the fourth consecutive quarter of positive Adjusted EBITDA(1) generated by Prosper.
Key Operating and Financial Metrics (Unaudited)
(in thousands)
Three Months Ended March 31,
2018 2017
Loan Originations $ 744,127 $ 585,590
Transaction Fees, Net 31,354 26,869
Servicing Fees, Net 7,184 6,154
Total Net Revenue 30,450 30,845
Core Revenue (1) 45,729 34,152
Net Loss (11,401 ) (24,021 )
Adjusted EBITDA(1) 4,520 (9,039 )

80% of start-up money goes to three states — here’s what one visionary is doing to help spread the wealth (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

Baird: And the microfinance industry is — $30 billion a year around the world is lent in $500 chunks to small businesses, near a 100% repayment rate.

Microfinance is a tool. All investing is a tool. Every microfinance bank, every bank is neither good nor bad, they’re amoral. It’s just what are people trying to do with it. I’ve seen microfinance banks that act in extractive ways and their primary goal is extract as much profit out of poor communities as possible. I’ve seen payday lenders do the same thing. I’ve also seen microfinance banks that are very good and say, “Our core goal is building wealth for the community and we’ve structured our business in a way that works for us.”

One percent of start-up investment goes to African-Americans. Two percent of start-up investment goes to women. There are a lot of people who are overlooked.  So roughly 80% of start-up investment goes to three states: New York, Massachusetts, California. If you’re in Ohio or Florida or Nairobi or Mumbai, it’s really hard to get your idea into the system.

The Story of Sharestates: From Startup to $ 1 Billion in 3 Years (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

Now, just over a year later, they have announced they recently crossed the $1 billion mark in originations. The company did so in just over 3 years, having officially launched in February 2015, just before LendIt USA that year. They are the second company in the real estate crowdfunding space to do so and are on our list as one of the ten options available for accredited investors in the marketplace lending space.

Originations in the lending space is only one metric. Any lending company’s survival depends on the quality of the loans they are making. According to the Sharestates’ website, investors have earned an average 10.54 percent annualized return. They also report 0% loss of principal for their investors. As of last year when we checked in the company was profitable which sets them up for continued success going forward. We’ve seen very few companies in the marketplace lending space broadly achieve this goal.

BuildDirect Partners With Affirm (Globe Newswire) Rated: A

BuildDirect, the first technology platform for the home improvement industry, today announced its partnership with Affirm Inc., a financial technology company that provides transparent payment alternatives to traditional credit. Now, U.S.-based BuildDirect customers have easy access to flexible and transparent financing options to pay for home improvement and renovation materials over time. At the point of sale, shoppers will see exactly how much they’ll pay in fixed monthly installments over the term they choose.

Banks struggle to combat the cyber crime bad guys (Financial Times) Rated: A

Digital banking has been a big positive for the financial services industry, though it has opened companies to greater cyber risk; cyber criminals now have a lot more entry points when it comes to getting access to funds illicitly; banks have increased their spending on defense but it isn’t enough as they also need to construct better, more secure systems; the CEO of Standard Chartered writes in the FT that banks can better utilize the data they collect, design tech better and work more closely with governments to catch bad actors.

Blockchains Could Be the Answer to Fairer Lending Systems (Nasdaq) Rated: A

The advancement of blockchain technology, this is poised to change. Through the technology, anyone anywhere in the world can raise financing from peers without having to rely on the traditional credit scores and the often heavily bureaucratic conventional mortgage processes.

Blockchain solutions such as Homelend  are making it possible for borrowers to directly reach lenders without depending on any intermediary and with no paperwork. The whole process is safeguarded by smart contracts to ensure that all parties in the deal adhere to their part of the bargain. According to Aneeza Haleem , a senior account manager at Cognizant Technology Solutions, blockchain-powered peer-to-peer mortgage financing significantly reduces the costs involved in the mortgage process.

Will Wells Fargo hurt Zelle by improving on it? (Payments Source) Rated: A

The irony of the explosive growth of mobile P2P is this: As consumers get more comfortable with paying one another through mobile devices, they’re thinking of P2P less as a service that one should find within a bank’s app.

This is a problem for Early Warning’s Zelle, the bank-run P2P network whose main selling point is its integration with banks. It’s a sharp contrast to rivals such as Venmo, which styled itself on a social media app; and Facebook and Apple, which took their own messaging platforms and blended P2P payments into the interface.

Capital One buys digital identity start-up Confyrm (Fintech Futures) Rated: A

Capital One has acquired San Francisco-based digital identity start-up Confyrm as it seeks to capture the market for consumer identity services.

Financial details were not disclosed, but as part of the deal Andrew Nash, founder and CEO of Confyrm, has become managing vice-president of Capital One’s consumer identity services. No word on what happens to the rest of the staff.

Confyrm was founded five years ago and offers help against online fraud.

Where Bank of America uses AI, and where its worries lie (American Banker) Rated: A

Bank of America spends $3 billion developing and buying technology every year, and about three times that on keeping its existing IT infrastructure going, says David Reilly, global banking and markets technology chief information officer.

As you might expect, some of that goes to artificial intelligence technology. The bank does not disclose how much.

An old-school fraud analytics program might see a customer using a card in a place they have never used a card before and block the transaction.

AI can do better.

The one area where banks and fintechs want more regulation (American Banker) Rated: A

Banks, fintech firms and data aggregators are asking regulators to provide more clarity on how to handle consumer data and who is responsible for leaks when it is shared between firms — a request that’s seemingly a reversal from the deregulatory approach the industry often takes.

The potential liability stemming from consumer data has become a critical concern for the financial industry as more data aggregators and fintech firms rapidly enter the space, seeking access to customers’ bank account information in order to offer loans and other products.

Could US Post Offices Become Banks? Here’s How The Plan Would Work (10 News) Rated: A

Now, there are a couple different ways Congress could build banking into the U.S. Postal Service. The first approach would just cover the basics.

That means offering low-dollar checking accounts and debit cards to low-income earners. That would at least offer basic financial services to all Americans, regardless of wealth. And it probably wouldn’t be too tough politically because the big banks typically aren’t interested in these customers.

But Gillibrand’s proposal would go further, allowing the postal service to also make loans of up to $1,000 with a super low interest rate around 2 percent, even to the poorest Americans. Because many of those loans would be at risk of not being paid back, some experts say the interest rate will have to be higher, maybe 25 percent. But that would still be a lot lower than rates from payday lenders, which often have people pay back three or four times what they borrowed.

Citizens Financial To Launch Online Consumer Bank (PYMNTS) Rated: A

Citizens Financial Group announced on Monday (May 14) plans to launch Citizens Access, a nationwide direct-to-consumer online bank.

In a press release, Citizens Financial said the digital platform will offer FDIC-insured deposits products aimed at serving people who want to save and want the flexibility of an online banking service. The company said it will provide digital deposit services at attractive rates and lower costs to help consumers save more for the future. The platform will be launched in the third quarter and will be available throughout the U.S.

 

Now Is the Time to Refinance Student Loans (Pharmacy Times) Rated: B

Refinancing your student loans from pharmacy school can potentially save you a significant amount of money while providing the convenience of making one payment a month. Keep in mind refinancing may not be for everyone. Individuals with a poor credit history, low salary from a pharmacy residency or fellowship, or those who want to keep the provisions in federal loans may want to closely consider their options before jumping right into refinancing their loans.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle launches new borrower referral incentive (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

FUNDING Circle is offering £1,500 in Amazon vouchers to anyone who refers a business that takes out a loan of £25,000 or more with the peer-to-peer lending platform.

The UK’s third-largest lender to small businesses said the borrowers may need the cash to grow, refurbish, buy stock or equipment, hire more staff or simply boost their cash flow.

HMRC updates crypto investors on tax confusion (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

However, a HMRC representative has told Peer2Peer Finance News that the tax office will deal with cryptocurrency related tax bills “on a case-by-case basis”.

The 2017-18 tax year saw huge volatility across the cryptocurrency sector, with Bitcoin reaching a high of £13,840 in mid-December before ending the tax year at approximately £4,750 per coin. This has led to confusion among retail investors regarding their tax liability, particularly if they sold out of the market at a high, then reinvested the profits only to see any gains wiped out.

Frederic Nze of Oakam (Lend Academy) Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • What was the catalyst that led to the founding of Oakam.
  • The loan products that Oakam offers.
  • The difference between small dollar loans in the US and the UK.
  • How Oakam is able to find their customers.
  • What percentage of their customers apply for a loan on a smartphone.
  • Why they still have physical stores where people can apply for loans in person.
  • How they have refined their underwriting models over the years.
  • How they are dealing with increased fraud via their online channels.
  • The interest rates they charge.
  • How their customers are able to reduce these rates for future loans.

Technology not size is key to banking success (Financial Times) Rated: A

Antony Jenkins, former CEO of Barclays and now head of 10x Future Technologies, writes in the FT that technology is key to the battle with banks; having technology that is more nimble and focused on the customer will help to better position challengers; UK challengers banks have found it hard to compete against the big names, even with recent consolidation; understanding what the customer needs most and allowing them to access services anytime and anywhere is what firms should focus on.

Fintech most popular sector for HNW investors (Investment International) Rated: B

Capitama’s current registered investors have a total annual investment capacity of £7.6bn. Of this total capacity, investors have expressed an annual investment capacity of £5bn into private equity opportunities, with £2.3bn total annual investment in Debt and Income opportunities. The interest of the registered investors in Philanthropic and Social Impact opportunities currently stands at £300m per year. This is an additional theme on Capitama given the rise in interest in these organisations from wealthy individuals and organisations.

69% of Capitama investors are interested in fintech investment opportunities and 67% want to see software and technology deals. Of the nine different investment types available on Capitama, Growth funding is the most popular, with 83% of Capitama registered Investors interested in this area, followed by Early stage investments (72%), Buy-outs (63%), and Real Estate (47%).

 

 

China

Renren Investors Seek to Block Asset Sales to Chief, SoftBank (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

A group of Renren Inc. investors are trying to block the private sale of company-owned assets to a consortium that includes its own top executive and major shareholder SoftBank Group Corp.

Renren announced the complex deal in April, which it said was necessary to address concerns that the SEC might deem it an investment company — forcing its delisting if it failed to obtain relevant licenses.

The letter accused management of trying to transfer the assets at values equal to or lower than their book value, neglecting their duty to smaller shareholders and misrepresenting certain financial statements. For example, it says the shares in SoFi — one of America’s biggest student loan refinancers — are being sold at a valuation of $269 million when they could be worth double that amount.

US online lending model is unproven, Eisman of The Big Short fame says in Hong Kong (South China Morning Post) Rated: AAA

Steven Eisman, famous for successfully shorting the US subprime market before the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, has said the online lending business model used in the United States is unsustainable, and that losses from Canadian mortgages could widen.

The one pocket of financial market anomaly in the US was online lending, where, he said, the underwriting of peer-to-peer credit was unproven, as selling a loan to investors such as hedge funds and other financial institutions was an unsustainable business model.

“The problem [with P2P lending] is that selling a loan [online] is not the same as selling a book. You buy a book on Amazon and that’s the end of the transaction. When you make a loan, that’s the beginning of a relationship. The question is how you manage that relationship,” said Eisman.

Soft Chinese Tech IPOs Test Next Wave of Listings (Wall Street Journal) Rated: A

More than a dozen technology companies from China are rushing to go public abroad, in an enticing opportunity for investors but one that has generated poor returns recently.

Shares of most Asian tech companies that have listed in New York and Hong Kong since the start of 2017 have notched lackluster performances, with the bulk trading below their initial public offering prices after strong early gains.

European Union

Bondora Go & Grow – Bondora Rolling Out New Product (P2P Banking) Rated: AAA

Go & Grow is designed for the passive investors as hands off p2p lending. One of the main advantages is that Bondora says it is tax optimised.

The Bondora Go & Grow product features a target interest rate of 6.75% which will accrue daily. It runs completly on autoinvest. The investor just needs to join it and pay money into the Go & Grow account (or transfer it from the normal Bondora account). The Go & Grow account promises daily liquidity. There is a 1 EUR withdrawal fee making small withdrawals expensive but for portfolios of 1000 EUR or more and usual investment horizons this fee is negligible.

Three Year Old Fintech Mintos is Profitable (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Latvian Fintech Mintos is reporting a profit in its brief three year old history. According to the company, the global online marketplace for loans has seen their revenue increase more than four-fold in 2017 to € 2.1 million generating a net profit for the year of € 197,000. Mintos says it has experienced significant growth, making it the “peer-to-peer lending market leader for continental Europe” with a 38% market share.

In aggregate, Mintos has topped € 660 million in investments by investors and the company expects the amount of loans funded to reach EUR 1 billion before the end of this year. As of May 2018, Mintos claims more than 58,000 investors using the platform and this number is expected to surpass 100,000 at some point in 2017. Currently, investors may expect an average 12.1% rate of return.

International

The 30 most valuable VC-backed companies in the world (Pitch Book) Rated: AAA

Ridehailing giants Uber and Didi Chuxing, based in San Francisco and Beijing, respectively, lead the list of most valuable private companies around the globe. And moving down the rankings, the pattern set at the top continues. A total of five of the companies are in the ridehailing industry, and 26 of the 30 are based in either the US or China.

 

Source: Pitch Book

What is Libra Credit: Digital Assets as the Future for International Credit (Coin Central) Rated: AAA

Libra Credit is offering a decentralized lending Ethereum-based ecosystem that helps users get open access to credit anywhere and anytime.

As long as a user has digital assets, they will be able to borrow money from Libra Credit by using those digital assets as collateral. Additionally, these users will be able to build an international credit history – a concept that Libra Credit and its partners plan to push to be recognized globally.

Source: Coin Central

Libra Credit plans to charge a fixed 8% annual interest rate charged by Libra Credit, which is party enabled by its partnerships with traditional finance institutions. The rate is competitive with that of other peer-to-peer lending platforms such as Lending Club and Salt, but isn’t tied to the availability of a peer match.

Source: Coin Central

How Misbehaving Australian Banks Are Causing Global Pain (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

Australia’s four biggest banks — Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corp.National Australia Bank Ltd. and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. — have been plagued by a string of scandals. The accusations run the gamut from giving misleading financial advice to trying to manipulate a benchmark interest rate. Simmering public resentment — stoked by a sense banks were gouging fees to fuel record profits and executive pay — boiled over last year when Commonwealth Bank was sued for systemically breaching anti-money laundering rules.

The government has announced tough new penalties for corporate wrongdoing and beefed up the regulator’s powers; analysts have trimmed earnings forecasts and speculate future legislation could force the biggest banks to sell off advice businesses.  All this comes at a time when bank profits are under pressure from a slowing housing market, rising costs and increased competition. Most of the banks are trying to simplify their operations and sell non-core operations.

Citi Inks $ 100 Million Trade Finance Deal With Asian Development Bank (PYMNTS) Rated: A

Global financial institution Citi is expanding its existing partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to share risk in trade finance transactions, reports in The Financial said Friday (May 11).

The ADB’s Trade Finance Program reached a deal worth $100 million with Citi that sees the financial institutions (FIs) sharing risk on trade finance transactions in an effort to bolster support for trade and access to finance across Asia.

 

Australia/New Zealand

FINNIES 2018: Here are all the finalists for Australia’s fintech industry awards (Business Insider) Rated: A

89 companies and individuals were chosen for Australia’s only industry-backed fintech awards, from a record field of more than 200 entries.

Excellence in Business Lending
● Finstro
● Prospa
● Spotcap Australia
● The Invoice Market – tim
● Trade Ledger

Excellence in Consumer Lending
● HashChing
● MoneyMe
● MoneyPlace
● RateSetter Australia
● SocietyOne

Robot financial adviser granted FMA exemption (Radio New Zealand News) Rated: A

The country has its first robot financial adviser after KiwiWealth was given an exemption by the Financial Markets Authority from the current law which requires humans to give financial and investment advice.

But Mr Bishop said it would still have human advisors offer detailed advice and have control of the robot.

India

PayMate Acquires Digital Lending Platform Z2P Technologies to Benefit SMEs (BW Disrupt) Rated: AAA

PayMate, an early pioneer in India’s payments industry and a leading player in electronic Business-to-Business (B2B) payments space, announced today the acquisition of Z2P (Zaitech Technology Pvt. Ltd.), a digital lending platform which provides hassle-free and real-time credit using social and banking data along with proprietary analytics and AI.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by May 2018 and it follows the announcement in February of this year by PayMate of its B2B partnership agreement with Visa.

As a result of the acquisition, PayMate acquires an innovative and proven lending solution in Z2P, which when combined with PayMate’s proprietary B2B payments platform will revolutionize the way businesses manage their payment operations, cashflow, and access to growth capital. PayMate plans to partner with banks and NBFCs to improve the flow of credit to SMEs.

Canada

Last week, Power Financial CEO Jeff Orr told reporters he plans to invest more money in fintech startups as the company looks to find technologies that can be incorporated into its business model and avoid disruptions that have hurt other sectors.

Widely known on the Street for its empire of financial advisers and investment products, Power Financial has spent $320-million in the fintech sector – with more than half the funds being allocated toward online robo-adviser Wealthsimple.

Asia

Singapore’s Biggest Bank Takes on China Giants in Fintech Battle (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

 

Almost 55% of customers say they would consider branchless digital-only bank

Source Bloomberg

Gupta credits his early recognition of the threat to his early days in Citigroup’s transaction banking division, unusual for a bank CEO, who tend to hail from the retail or investment banking arms of their institutions. That background taught him both the nuts and bolts of banking and the importance of technology, Gupta said. He also dabbled briefly but unsuccessfully in the startup world, when he quit Citigroup in 2001 to found an Internet portal in India, around the time the dotcom bubble was bursting.

Latin America

Morgan Stanley Goes After Brazilian FinTech Market (PYMNTS) Rated: AAA

Bloomberg, citing four people with direct knowledge of the matter, reported that Morgan Stanley purchased $14 million in local subordinated bonds from online consumer lender Geru Tecnologia e Servicos. The Geru bonds, which the company issued in December of 2017, have a four-year maturity and pay about 11.2 percent each year, noted the report.

The company is also reportedly in talks with international investors about raising $50 million via an equity round that QMS Capital is handling. QMS has a 10 percent stake in Geru. General Atlantic could also be an investor in the round of fundraising, noted the report.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday January 4 2018 Daily News Digest

most funded fintech segments

News Comments Today’s main news: U.S. blocks Ant Financial from buying MoneyGram. Victory Park exits Prosper. Money360 closes $500M in CRE loans. Prosper appoints new marketing chief. Indian startup funding at 3-month low. LaLa World Global to launch token sale. Today’s main analysis: International P2P lending volumes for December 2017. Today’s thought-provoking articles: LendingClub to turn around in 2018. Top hedge […]

most funded fintech segments

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Canada

Africa

News Summary

United States

The U.S. Is Blocking a Chinese Fintech Giant from Buying MoneyGram (Technology Review), Rated: AAA

American authorities have decided that Alibaba’s digital payment firm, Ant Financial, won’t be allowed to acquire the cash transfer company Moneygram.

Money360 Passes $ 500 Million in Commercial Real Estate Loans Closed (GlobeNewswire), Rated: AAA

Money360, a technology-enabled direct lender specializing in commercial real estate (CRE) loans, today announced it has surpassed half a billion dollars in loans closed since inception. This includes $357 million in loans closed for the year 2017.  The milestone comes on the heels of other recent successes for Money360, including the initiation of a partnership with Ten-X, the nation’s leading online real estate transaction marketplace, in which Money360 works to accelerate commercial real estate transactions for buyers, sellers and brokers by offering pre-approved financing for qualified properties and buyers.

Money360 specializes in bridge and permanent loans of $1 million to $20 million. Recent loans closed during the period include:

  • A $7.8 million bridge loan for an office property in Evansville, Indiana, brought to Money360 by Benjamin Kadish at Maverick Capital
  • A $7.5 million bridge loan for a full-service hotel in Cromwell, Connecticut, brought to Money360 by Rushi Shah at Conlon Capital
  • A $6.8 million bridge loan for a nationwide portfolio of Pier 1 retail properties, brought to Money360 by Al Dannatt at Commercial Resource Capital
  • A $6.8 million bridge loan for a mixed-use center in Charleston, South Carolina, brought to Money360 by Dominick Scorzo at Ivenhoe Capital Advisors
  • A $4.4 million permanent loan for a retail center in Mount Olive, New Jersey, brought to Money360 through our partnership with Ten-X
  • A $4 million bridge loan for an office building in Amarillo, Texas, brought to Money360 by Steve States at States Mortgage
  • A $3.2 million bridge loan for a retail center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, brought to Money360 by Martin Chera at Express Mortgage

In addition to record loan generation activity and new partnerships, Money360 has taken a number of notable steps in 2017 to further position the company as a leader in commercial real estate and alternative investing, including:

  • Hired new top talent to support company growth.
  • Named a top five company in the real estate fintech industry by Deloitte based on total investment dollars received.
  • Gained backing and support from Ron Suber. Mr. Suber not only invested in Money360, but also joined the firm as a strategic advisor.

M360 Advisors surpasses $300M in Assets Under Management

Finally, Money360 announced that its affiliate, M360 Advisors (“M360”), surpassed $300 million in assets under management.

3 Turnaround Stocks to Consider in 2018 (The Motley Fool), Rated: AAA

One name that has been sold off very recently is Lending Club (NYSE:LC), the leader in the relatively new industry of FinTech personal lending.

Lending Club’s fee-based model depends on increasing volumes, so growth-oriented investors were likely scared off by the reduced targets.

However, I think the hate has gone too far. Lending Club is the largest and only publicly traded loan marketplace, which has made it the go-to for institutional investors looking for exposure to consumer loans. By tightening credit, Lending Club has demonstrated a long-term commitment to sound underwriting, which should deepen its relationships with these important investors.

And while Lending Club did reduce its near-term guidance, it still guided for roughly 20% revenue growth and increasing profitability next year, which isn’t too shabby. The market opportunity in U.S. credit card consolidation — Lending Club’s core business (though not its the only one) — is still large, at $300-$350 billion, which means Lending Club’s current $11.5 billion loans outstanding only amounts to about 3-4% of this market.

TOP HEDGE FUND INDUSTRY TRENDS FOR 2018 (All About Alpha), Rated: AAA

Despite the plethora of negative articles about the hedge fund industry, hedge fund assets have reached an all-time high 5 quarters in a row. Across the hedge fund investor landscape, we see a significant improvement in sentiment towards the industry. We forecast that industry assets will grow by 5.5% over the next 12 months.

Strategies that will gain assets include:

  • Quant
  • Asia long/short equity  – The IMF predicts that 2/3 of world growth will come from Asia over the next 5 years. Less than 5% of Hedge Fund industry assets are invested with Asia based managers.
  • Reinsurance
  • Higher turnover fixed income
  • Strategies that blur the lines between private equity and hedge funds – Most of these are private lending/specialty financing.

Strategies that will lose assets include:

  • Traditional long/short equity focusing on the developed markets.
  • High beta fixed income managers.

Arms race for Alpha

The industry is experiencing an information arms race with respect to how much information can be gathered and how quickly it can be processed.  Information advantages are often short-lived, and many managers are investing in a host of new technologies such as quantitative analytics, alternative data sources and Artificial Intelligence in an attempt to enhance their decision making and improve traditional investment processes. Information and technology are being used to increase efficiency and accuracy in sourcing information, researching ideas and executing investments.

Increase in hedge funds shutting down

The hedge fund industry remains over saturated with an estimated 15,000 funds. We believe approximately 90% of all hedge funds do not justify their fees, as evidenced by the mediocre returns of hedge fund indices. Fed-up with poor performance, investors are increasingly more likely to redeem from underperforming managers leading to an increase in fund closures.

Bullish on Cryptocurrency industry despite potentially one of the largest bubbles in capital markets history

Cryptocurrency is in its infancy stage and will continue to experience tremendous innovation, evolution and exponential growth over the next decade. There are already more than 120 hedge funds focused on cryptocurrencies and block chain technology. We expect this number to increase 2 to 3 times in 2018.

Prosper Marketplace Appoints Former Bank of America Executive Justine Metz Head of Marketing (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Prosper Marketplace today announced it has appointed Justine Metz as Executive Vice President of Marketing.

Metz brings more than 25 years of marketing experience and joins Prosper from SRS Acquiom, a financial firm that specializes with M&A transactions. Prior to that, Justine served as Head of Global Wealth and Investment Management Marketing and Sales Support at Bank of America, where she was responsible for driving growth, profitability and loyalty for Bank of America’s Wealth Management business, Merrill Lynch and US Trust. She has also held senior positions at Fidelity Investments, Morgan Stanley and GE Capital (GEFA).

MoneyLion Secures $ 42 Million Investment to Accelerate Growth (BusinessWire), Rated: A

MoneyLion, the digital personal finance platform for the financial middle class, announced today it has secured a $42 million Series B funding, led by Edison Partners. Existing investors FinTech Collective and Grupo SURA, as well as new investors Greenspring Associates and Danhua Capital also participated in the round. All told, MoneyLion has now raised $67 million in equity financing.

The latest investment follows rapid growth of the MoneyLion platform, which has surpassed 1.5 million users and has experienced 178% compounded growth in revenue since 2015. The company, which is cash flow positive, plans on using the growth capital to increase investment in technology and continue to expand its product line.

How Tech Sends Clients Running Back to Human FAs (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: A

While investors have been using digital tools as an entry into financial planning, they’re simply inundated by too much data and eventually turn to human advisors for help, Cerulli Associates says, according to the publication.

Nonetheless, investors’ appetite for digital advice isn’t subsiding: digital platforms were expected to reach $220 billion in client assets by the end 2017 and more than $600 billion by the end of 2022, according to the report cited by FA magazine.

 

Celsius to replace traditional future exchanges like CME and CBOT with crypto lenders (LeapRate), Rated: A

Celsius, a blockchain powered lending and borrowing platform, just announced that it aims to replace big banks and futures exchanges, like the CME and CBOT, with crypto coin holders who will earn returns through lending. Using its platform, which will launch in Q1 2018, Celsius members can easily borrow coins at significantly reduced rates compared to traditional financial institutions, while lenders can earn automatic interest by holding coins in the Celsius Wallet.

Dubbed as “The Wallet That Pays Back”, registrants who deposit coins into the Celsius Wallet will receive up to 7% per year on loaned coins.

Celsius plans to offer a variety of powerful financial tools for crypto asset holders, including:

  • Peer-to-Peer Lending 
  • Peer-to-Peer Borrowing 
  • Crypto Shorting: Network members will be able to short crypto assets by borrowing coins from lenders almost instantaneously.
  • Global Credit 
  • Capital Protection: Celsius will provide protection for all coins, by collecting a portion of the principal interest amount from borrowers.

Crypto P2P lender Celsius readies for launch (P2P Finance News), Rated: B

CELSIUS, an Ethereum-based peer-to-peer lending platform, is set to launch during this quarter.

Lenders will receive up to seven per cent year by depositing coins into the Celsius Wallet that are lent out to the platform’s network of members, according to LeapRate.com.

2018’s Best Credit Cards & $ 7.4B in Extra Interest Following Fed Hikes (WalletHub Email), Rated: A

With millions of people making a financially themed resolution for 2018 and recent Fed rate hikes expected to cost credit card users an extra  Best For… Card Name Travel Rewards

The Mastermind Behind Chase’s Industry-Changing Sapphire Reserve Card Sets Her Sights on Banking (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Pam Codispoti had a dilemma. She’d been brought on by JPMorgan Chase & Co.to develop a credit card for affluent millennials in 2014—a time when no one thought the group wanted credit cards.

Chase’s response was the Sapphire Reserve. The $450-a-year card came with a sign-up bonus of 100,000 reward points and allowed holders to use them at a wide variety of hotels, airlines, restaurants, and more. Holders were also rewarded extra for spending in those categories, and even given a $300 annual travel credit.

CFPB 2018 outlook: More deregulation, more upheaval (American Banker), Rated: A

The first 11 months alone under former CFPB Director Richard Cordray saw a steady stream of enforcement actions and regulatory policies that by itself would make the bureau’s year more eventful than that of other agencies. That span also saw the Trump administration’s challenges to Cordray’s leadership, and the congressional repeal of the CFPB arbitration rule.

Indiana lawmaker files bill to cap payday loan interest rates at 36 percent (rtv6), Rated: A

State Sen. Greg Walker (R-Columbus) filed on Tuesday the first of its kind legislation that would cap small loan finance charges at 36 percent.

Currently, the cap for payday loans in Indiana is 391 percent, according to Walker.

Indiana ranks 44th, among the worst in the nation, when it comes to bankruptcy and Hoosiers and their communities lose about $70 million a year in payday loan fees, according to the Indiana Institute for Working Families.

If in case you have debt, keep away from this massive mistake many debtors make (Kaplan Herald), Rated: B

In June, cumulative U.S. household debt reached $12.84 trillion, a $114 billion increase from the first quarter.

Four 4 in 5 Americans are in the red, according to data from a provided exclusively to CNBC.

United Kingdom

Victory Park Capital fund exits Prosper loans (AltFi), Rated: AAA

The £336.8m VPC Specialty Lending fund has sold its total holding in Prosper marketplace loans, representing 4.1 per cent of the Company’s net asset value [NAV].

Valuing Funding Circle (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Back in 2014, Lending Club and OnDeck were riding high. The American startups led a pack of online lending companies “disrupting” consumer and business loans respectively.

The hype reached fever-pitched as they floated within weeks of each other. Lending Club was valued at $5.4bn. OnDeck at $1.3bn.

So, hats off to Funding Circle, the British online lender that is preparing to follow in the footsteps of its struggling peers across the Atlantic.

Making the most of your money (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

AS INFLATION grows ahead of expectations, far too many savers are seeing the value of their hard-earned cash decline.

Recent research from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) found that just under a third (30 per cent) of UK adults would not be able to cope if their mortgage repayments increased by £50 a month.

With the recent 0.25 per cent rate rise, it won’t be long before these households feel the squeeze.

The rise of P2P

UK savers and investors are also willing to back British businesses. Six in 10 (63 per cent) would be willing to lend to a business. Over a quarter (26 per cent) would lend to a business that could use their assets as security. A quarter (25 per cent) would lend to an established business that has been operating for a few years and 11 per cent would lend to a start-up business.

Click here for more information on ArchOver.

Folk2Folk Announces New CEO as Giles Cross Takes Over Leadership Role P2P Lending Platform (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Folk2Folk, a unique peer to peer lending platform that combines physical locations with an online platform matching investors with small business loans, has announced the appointment of Giles Cross  Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Cross joined Folk2Folk as Chief Marketing Officer in June 2017.

 

Property Lender Financed Around 1,800 UK Homes in 2017 (Landlord News), Rated: A

LendInvest, a leading specialist property lender, lent £500m to help professional property investors, developers and landlords buy, build or renovate around 1,800 UK homes during 2017.

This marks a 33% increase on the previous year’s £375m lending record.

LendInvest has now lent a total of over £1.2 billion to property investors and developers.

High touch meets high tech (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

FAIRNESS IS pivotal to Newable Lending’s ethos when it comes to lending – and it’s not afraid to nail its colours to the mast. The peer-to-peer business lender is a member of Responsible Finance, a trade body working to increase access to fair finance.

FCA financial advice director steps down (Mortgage Strategy), Rated: B

FCA director of life insurance and financial advice Linda Woodall has stepped down from the regulator.

The regulator understands she intends to retire. A replacement has yet to be appointed.

European Union

New EU financial market rules off to smooth start: Watchdog (Khaleej Times), Rated: AAA

The rollout of new European Union securities rules on Wednesday has been glitch-free so far, though disruptions in coming days and months cannot be ruled out, the bloc’s markets watchdog said.

But given the complexity and size of the reform, Esma could not rule out glitches in coming days or weeks, Maijoor said.

Rocky start for Europe’s financial market revamp (Handelsblatt Global), Rated: A

Even after a year-long delay, precious few experts fully understand the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, Europe’s biggest financial markets reform in almost a decade.

Among other key changes, and in a belated nod to technological progress, telephone-based trading will be replaced with electronic platforms in bonds and off-exchange derivatives. And consumers should immediately see financial advice standards rise.

Analysts estimate that MiFid II will cost $6 billion (€5 billion) to implement in the first five years.

Exclusive Interview with Fast Invest CEO Simona Vaitkune (ChipIn), Rated: A

We recently sat down with the CEO of Fast Invest, Simona Vaitkune to have a chat with her about the project as well as finding out her thoughts and insights.

Tell us about how you came up with the idea of Fast Invest. Did you face a problem within the industry or do you think there is a gap in the market for Fast Invest to fill?

Everything started when I wanted not only to save money but to earn from my savings, to get passive income. I began to search for a platform which would fit me, but I could not find anything because I wanted to do it easily and safely without investing a lot of money.

What do you think is the biggest problem Fast Invest will solve and why is the problem important to solve?

Fast Invest is solving a problem that I mentioned before – complexity and large entry point of investment platforms. With Fast Invest, you can start investing from 1 Euro, Zloty or Pound. On top of that, you do not need to worry about your money, because we offer BuyBack and default guarantees.

International

International P2P Lending Volumes December 2017 (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

Mintos finished a remarkable month fueled by the cashback promotion. The total volume for the reported marketplaces adds up to 582 million Euro.

This month I added PeerBerryLook&Fin and MyTripleA.

Source: P2P-Banking

Setting the Tone for 2018 in the Most Important Charts of 2017 (Let’s Talk Payments), Rated: AAA

In 2017, lending startups around the world scored almost $4 billion in total funding, followed by $3.55 billion gathered by InsurTech startups, $3.24 billion invested in payments, and, of course, $850 million pocketed by startups building blockchain-based solutions.

Keep shoppers, the planet, and your profits happy by allowing in-store returns (Biz Report), Rated: A

Reverse-logistics firm Optoro found that nearly half (45%) of people will begin sending back unwanted items no sooner than the ripped up wrapping paper has been balled and binned. UPS recently forecast that returns would peak at 1.4 million packages on Wednesday 3 January, 2018, up 8% on last year and the fourth consecutive yearly increase. UPS said consumers returned more than 1 million packages a day to retailers last month.

According to Optoro’s report, the majority of returns (91%) will take place in-store. While total returns account for more than $351 billion in lost sales for U.S. retailers (Appriss Retail) the fact that most of those returns are happening in store is good news. More than half (57%) of shoppers who return items to a physical store make additional purchases during the process.

Could blockchains replace banks in real estate lending? (American Banker), Rated: A

The startup Propy recently sold an apartment in the Ukraine through its blockchain, and in the last week of December it began letting Californians buy and sell properties on its blockchain using bitcoin. They will be able to use U.S. dollars next year.

ShelterZoom has built an Ethereum-based platform that went live Dec. 14. RealBlocks lets people invest in housing on its blockchain with fiat or digital currency (and starting in February 2018, its own tokens). It has completed seven deals so far.

RealBlocks lets people invest in rental properties like Section 8 housing over a blockchain.

It has also partnered with SALT Lending so that after February, participants will be able to take out a loan or line of credit using the tokens they buy from RealBlocks as collateral.

A blockchain could also facilitate crowdsourced mortgages. Instead of taking out a $200,000 loan from one lender, a borrower could get $2,000 each from 1,000 investors.

18 Blockchain Predictions for 2018 (Consensy), Rated: A

Bitcoin as a digital store of value is the least interesting use of blockchain … There, I said it.

A Loan

Source: Consensys

An Initial Public Offering or Crowdfunding

Source: Consensys

10. People will take control of their online identities

We will continue to see the growing trend wherein people, companies, and machines manage their identity self-sovereignly rather then by a third party service provider like a bank, Facebook, or another internet service provider.

Interestingly, governments will increasingly find themselves as attestors to these self-sovereign identities, similar to how Zug, Switzerland is attesting to citizens identity usage with uPort, Ethereum leading self-sovereign identity solution.

11. In 2018, governments and regulatory bodies will mandate the use of blockchain to track and trace high value assets.

Major Fortune 50 companies are already demanding public chain track and trace use cases for which they are using the Viant platform to build their solutions.

18. The total market cap of blockchain-based digital assets will exceed $2 trillion U.S. dollars by January 1, 2019.

The price of ether will exceed $2,000 in 2018. Ether will continue to outperform bitcoin, and the total market cap of ether will exceed that of bitcoin in 2018.

8 fintech trends on our radar for 2018 (O’Reilly Media), Rated: B

  1. AI will be implemented across the stack
  2. New products will make advanced analytics easier
  3. Blockchain technologies will be used in financial services products
  4. Data partnerships will increase
  5. We’ll see even greater regionalization and regulation in payments – This is an area where both startups and global companies are flourishing. The technologies, protocols, and players vary by region. I’m amazed by how widely used QR codes are in China (WeChat and Alipay) and the rest of the world (GoPay in Southeast Asia, Paytm in India). For companies operating in the EU, PSD2 is a new 2018 regulation aimed at fostering innovation and competition in the payments industry.
  6. Customer experience will be increasingly mobile
  7. There will be increased pressure around privacy and security
  8. More quants will be analyzing or trading cryptocurrencies
Australia

Can a fintech lending firm disrupt the big four? (Asiamoney), Rated: AAA

As CVs for Australian bankers go, Jason Yetton’s background doesn’t quite scream ‘disruptor’. High-flyer perhaps, certainly ambitious and across trends. But helming a startup?

Two years on from Westpac and now running SocietyOne, the Sydney-based loans fintech that is one of Australia’s more prominent financial startups, the mid-career Yetton seems to bite with near evangelistic fervour the very hand of establishment banking that once nourished him.

Australian banking is backward in many critical areas, Yetton tells Asiamoney. He wants to see a tech-led democratization that would revolutionize payments and settlement, as well as lending, data and information infrastructure, while allowing customers to switch banks without penalty.

The current system preserves the status quo, Yetton says, in which the formidable foursome control 80% to 85% of Australia’s banking market and from which they earned a collective A$32 billion ($24 billion) in the 2017 financial year.

India

Funds Raised By Indian Startups Hit Three-Month Low (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Funds raised by Indian startups hit a three-month low, as four startups together managed to raise just around $10 million last week. That compares with $36 million raised by 10 startups the week before in angel, seed or venture capital funding.

Online lending firm Lendingkart Finance Ltd. raised around $3.7 million (Rs 25 crore) from the country’s largest public sector bank State Bank of India to grow its loan books, the company said in a statement.

Indian start-up ecosystem on a growth path in 2018 (Outlook), Rated: A

India’s start-up eco-system has been growing at a rapid pace and has all the right ingredients to support the fast paced economic growth of the country. With an addition of 1000 start-ups in the year 2017, the start-ups have played a big role in the growth of the Indian economy, making it a major source of employment, innovation and industrialisation.

i2ifunding, India’s second largest P2P lending platform plans to expand its business across the country, instead of focussing on metro cities.

Asia

LaLa World Global to Launch $ 10M Public Token Sale Jan. 5 (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Blockchain startup LaLa World is pleased to announce the long anticipated launch of the Lala Token sale to commence on January 5, 2018 and to run through February 5, 2018. A total of 150 Million LALA Tokens will be released in an initial coin sale (ICO) starting this Friday.

LALA World Products from their Financial Ecosystem Include:

  1. LALA Transfer – A Peer-to-Peer local and global remittance backed by crypto as well as fiat.
  2. LALA Bill Pay – Local and International bill payments for you and your family.
  3. LALA Lends – Domestic and International peer-to-peer lending via crypto and fiat, individual and small businesses.
  4. LALA Card – Crypto and Fiat card synced to your Wallet and usable at millions of PoS globally.
  5. LALA Kit – Contains a mobile phone with pre-loaded LALA Wallet, LALA Insurance, LALA Card, partners’ products, etc.

LaLa World is a wholesome financial ecosystem for the unbanked, starting with migrants and their families back home. Investors can purchase LaLa Tokens here: 

8 promising Fintech Startups in Singapore to Watch in 2018 (Fintech News), Rated: A

  1. MyCash Online is an online marketplace designed for migrant workers in Malaysia and Singapore.
  2. Instarem is a remittance startup that aims to offer fast, safe and cost effective cross border money transfer services for individuals and businesses from countries including Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore to more than 25 countries.
  3. Singapore Life is a new life insurance firm which commenced its operations in 2017 by providing insurance solutions via its online platform.
  4. soCash has developed a solution that allows people to withdraw cash at small businesses part of its “Cashpoints” network. The solution plugs into the mobile apps of banks.
  5. Bluzelle Networks is a blockchain startup that’s building a decentralized, on-demand, scalable database for decentralized applications.
  6. TenX is a cryptocurrency payment platform that consists of a wallet, physical debit card, bank account, ATM access and more.
  7. AGDelta is a Singapore headquartered fintech software company specialized in digital wealth management.
  8. Flywire, formerly peerTransfer, is a provider of international payment solutions headquartered in Boston with operations in Singapore, China, Australia, Spain and the UK.
Canada

New payday loan rules still too soft, says group (CBC.ca), Rated: A

On Monday, New Brunswick became the eighth Canadian province to introduce regulations governing the payday loan industry.

Earlier this week, the Financial and Consumer Services Commission announced a new set of regulations, including mandatory licensing for payday lenders, requiring then to display posters showing their rates, and making insurance on loans optional.

Lenders are also prohibited from issuing more than one loan at a time to the same consumer, or lending more than 30 per cent of the consumer’s net pay.

Under the new rules, the commission is able to take action against unlicensed lenders and those that fail to comply with legislation.

Africa

Kenya most lucrative market for fintech top staff in Africa (Business Daily), Rated: AAA

Kenya is the most attractive market in Africa for workers in the fintech industry with new data showing that companies pay the highest salaries in comparison to their peers on the continent.

In a recent survey, the Digital Frontiers Institute (DFI) found that executives and senior managers working for Kenyan fintech companies earn each a base monthly salary of Sh2 million (Sh24.6 million or $238,509 annually) and Sh1.2 million (Sh14.2 million or $137,303 annually), respectively.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday January 4 2018 Daily News Digest

most funded fintech segments

News Comments Today’s main news: U.S. blocks Ant Financial from buying MoneyGram. Victory Park exits Prosper. Money360 closes $500M in CRE loans. Prosper appoints new marketing chief. Indian startup funding at 3-month low. LaLa World Global to launch token sale. Today’s main analysis: International P2P lending volumes for December 2017. Today’s thought-provoking articles: LendingClub to turn around in 2018. Top hedge […]

most funded fintech segments

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Canada

Africa

News Summary

United States

The U.S. Is Blocking a Chinese Fintech Giant from Buying MoneyGram (Technology Review), Rated: AAA

American authorities have decided that Alibaba’s digital payment firm, Ant Financial, won’t be allowed to acquire the cash transfer company Moneygram.

Money360 Passes $ 500 Million in Commercial Real Estate Loans Closed (GlobeNewswire), Rated: AAA

Money360, a technology-enabled direct lender specializing in commercial real estate (CRE) loans, today announced it has surpassed half a billion dollars in loans closed since inception. This includes $357 million in loans closed for the year 2017.  The milestone comes on the heels of other recent successes for Money360, including the initiation of a partnership with Ten-X, the nation’s leading online real estate transaction marketplace, in which Money360 works to accelerate commercial real estate transactions for buyers, sellers and brokers by offering pre-approved financing for qualified properties and buyers.

Money360 specializes in bridge and permanent loans of $1 million to $20 million. Recent loans closed during the period include:

  • A $7.8 million bridge loan for an office property in Evansville, Indiana, brought to Money360 by Benjamin Kadish at Maverick Capital
  • A $7.5 million bridge loan for a full-service hotel in Cromwell, Connecticut, brought to Money360 by Rushi Shah at Conlon Capital
  • A $6.8 million bridge loan for a nationwide portfolio of Pier 1 retail properties, brought to Money360 by Al Dannatt at Commercial Resource Capital
  • A $6.8 million bridge loan for a mixed-use center in Charleston, South Carolina, brought to Money360 by Dominick Scorzo at Ivenhoe Capital Advisors
  • A $4.4 million permanent loan for a retail center in Mount Olive, New Jersey, brought to Money360 through our partnership with Ten-X
  • A $4 million bridge loan for an office building in Amarillo, Texas, brought to Money360 by Steve States at States Mortgage
  • A $3.2 million bridge loan for a retail center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, brought to Money360 by Martin Chera at Express Mortgage

In addition to record loan generation activity and new partnerships, Money360 has taken a number of notable steps in 2017 to further position the company as a leader in commercial real estate and alternative investing, including:

  • Hired new top talent to support company growth.
  • Named a top five company in the real estate fintech industry by Deloitte based on total investment dollars received.
  • Gained backing and support from Ron Suber. Mr. Suber not only invested in Money360, but also joined the firm as a strategic advisor.

M360 Advisors surpasses $300M in Assets Under Management

Finally, Money360 announced that its affiliate, M360 Advisors (“M360”), surpassed $300 million in assets under management.

3 Turnaround Stocks to Consider in 2018 (The Motley Fool), Rated: AAA

One name that has been sold off very recently is Lending Club (NYSE:LC), the leader in the relatively new industry of FinTech personal lending.

Lending Club’s fee-based model depends on increasing volumes, so growth-oriented investors were likely scared off by the reduced targets.

However, I think the hate has gone too far. Lending Club is the largest and only publicly traded loan marketplace, which has made it the go-to for institutional investors looking for exposure to consumer loans. By tightening credit, Lending Club has demonstrated a long-term commitment to sound underwriting, which should deepen its relationships with these important investors.

And while Lending Club did reduce its near-term guidance, it still guided for roughly 20% revenue growth and increasing profitability next year, which isn’t too shabby. The market opportunity in U.S. credit card consolidation — Lending Club’s core business (though not its the only one) — is still large, at $300-$350 billion, which means Lending Club’s current $11.5 billion loans outstanding only amounts to about 3-4% of this market.

TOP HEDGE FUND INDUSTRY TRENDS FOR 2018 (All About Alpha), Rated: AAA

Despite the plethora of negative articles about the hedge fund industry, hedge fund assets have reached an all-time high 5 quarters in a row. Across the hedge fund investor landscape, we see a significant improvement in sentiment towards the industry. We forecast that industry assets will grow by 5.5% over the next 12 months.

Strategies that will gain assets include:

  • Quant
  • Asia long/short equity  – The IMF predicts that 2/3 of world growth will come from Asia over the next 5 years. Less than 5% of Hedge Fund industry assets are invested with Asia based managers.
  • Reinsurance
  • Higher turnover fixed income
  • Strategies that blur the lines between private equity and hedge funds – Most of these are private lending/specialty financing.

Strategies that will lose assets include:

  • Traditional long/short equity focusing on the developed markets.
  • High beta fixed income managers.

Arms race for Alpha

The industry is experiencing an information arms race with respect to how much information can be gathered and how quickly it can be processed.  Information advantages are often short-lived, and many managers are investing in a host of new technologies such as quantitative analytics, alternative data sources and Artificial Intelligence in an attempt to enhance their decision making and improve traditional investment processes. Information and technology are being used to increase efficiency and accuracy in sourcing information, researching ideas and executing investments.

Increase in hedge funds shutting down

The hedge fund industry remains over saturated with an estimated 15,000 funds. We believe approximately 90% of all hedge funds do not justify their fees, as evidenced by the mediocre returns of hedge fund indices. Fed-up with poor performance, investors are increasingly more likely to redeem from underperforming managers leading to an increase in fund closures.

Bullish on Cryptocurrency industry despite potentially one of the largest bubbles in capital markets history

Cryptocurrency is in its infancy stage and will continue to experience tremendous innovation, evolution and exponential growth over the next decade. There are already more than 120 hedge funds focused on cryptocurrencies and block chain technology. We expect this number to increase 2 to 3 times in 2018.

Prosper Marketplace Appoints Former Bank of America Executive Justine Metz Head of Marketing (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Prosper Marketplace today announced it has appointed Justine Metz as Executive Vice President of Marketing.

Metz brings more than 25 years of marketing experience and joins Prosper from SRS Acquiom, a financial firm that specializes with M&A transactions. Prior to that, Justine served as Head of Global Wealth and Investment Management Marketing and Sales Support at Bank of America, where she was responsible for driving growth, profitability and loyalty for Bank of America’s Wealth Management business, Merrill Lynch and US Trust. She has also held senior positions at Fidelity Investments, Morgan Stanley and GE Capital (GEFA).

MoneyLion Secures $ 42 Million Investment to Accelerate Growth (BusinessWire), Rated: A

MoneyLion, the digital personal finance platform for the financial middle class, announced today it has secured a $42 million Series B funding, led by Edison Partners. Existing investors FinTech Collective and Grupo SURA, as well as new investors Greenspring Associates and Danhua Capital also participated in the round. All told, MoneyLion has now raised $67 million in equity financing.

The latest investment follows rapid growth of the MoneyLion platform, which has surpassed 1.5 million users and has experienced 178% compounded growth in revenue since 2015. The company, which is cash flow positive, plans on using the growth capital to increase investment in technology and continue to expand its product line.

How Tech Sends Clients Running Back to Human FAs (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: A

While investors have been using digital tools as an entry into financial planning, they’re simply inundated by too much data and eventually turn to human advisors for help, Cerulli Associates says, according to the publication.

Nonetheless, investors’ appetite for digital advice isn’t subsiding: digital platforms were expected to reach $220 billion in client assets by the end 2017 and more than $600 billion by the end of 2022, according to the report cited by FA magazine.

 

Celsius to replace traditional future exchanges like CME and CBOT with crypto lenders (LeapRate), Rated: A

Celsius, a blockchain powered lending and borrowing platform, just announced that it aims to replace big banks and futures exchanges, like the CME and CBOT, with crypto coin holders who will earn returns through lending. Using its platform, which will launch in Q1 2018, Celsius members can easily borrow coins at significantly reduced rates compared to traditional financial institutions, while lenders can earn automatic interest by holding coins in the Celsius Wallet.

Dubbed as “The Wallet That Pays Back”, registrants who deposit coins into the Celsius Wallet will receive up to 7% per year on loaned coins.

Celsius plans to offer a variety of powerful financial tools for crypto asset holders, including:

  • Peer-to-Peer Lending 
  • Peer-to-Peer Borrowing 
  • Crypto Shorting: Network members will be able to short crypto assets by borrowing coins from lenders almost instantaneously.
  • Global Credit 
  • Capital Protection: Celsius will provide protection for all coins, by collecting a portion of the principal interest amount from borrowers.

Crypto P2P lender Celsius readies for launch (P2P Finance News), Rated: B

CELSIUS, an Ethereum-based peer-to-peer lending platform, is set to launch during this quarter.

Lenders will receive up to seven per cent year by depositing coins into the Celsius Wallet that are lent out to the platform’s network of members, according to LeapRate.com.

2018’s Best Credit Cards & $ 7.4B in Extra Interest Following Fed Hikes (WalletHub Email), Rated: A

With millions of people making a financially themed resolution for 2018 and recent Fed rate hikes expected to cost credit card users an extra  Best For… Card Name Travel Rewards

The Mastermind Behind Chase’s Industry-Changing Sapphire Reserve Card Sets Her Sights on Banking (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Pam Codispoti had a dilemma. She’d been brought on by JPMorgan Chase & Co.to develop a credit card for affluent millennials in 2014—a time when no one thought the group wanted credit cards.

Chase’s response was the Sapphire Reserve. The $450-a-year card came with a sign-up bonus of 100,000 reward points and allowed holders to use them at a wide variety of hotels, airlines, restaurants, and more. Holders were also rewarded extra for spending in those categories, and even given a $300 annual travel credit.

CFPB 2018 outlook: More deregulation, more upheaval (American Banker), Rated: A

The first 11 months alone under former CFPB Director Richard Cordray saw a steady stream of enforcement actions and regulatory policies that by itself would make the bureau’s year more eventful than that of other agencies. That span also saw the Trump administration’s challenges to Cordray’s leadership, and the congressional repeal of the CFPB arbitration rule.

Indiana lawmaker files bill to cap payday loan interest rates at 36 percent (rtv6), Rated: A

State Sen. Greg Walker (R-Columbus) filed on Tuesday the first of its kind legislation that would cap small loan finance charges at 36 percent.

Currently, the cap for payday loans in Indiana is 391 percent, according to Walker.

Indiana ranks 44th, among the worst in the nation, when it comes to bankruptcy and Hoosiers and their communities lose about $70 million a year in payday loan fees, according to the Indiana Institute for Working Families.

If in case you have debt, keep away from this massive mistake many debtors make (Kaplan Herald), Rated: B

In June, cumulative U.S. household debt reached $12.84 trillion, a $114 billion increase from the first quarter.

Four 4 in 5 Americans are in the red, according to data from a provided exclusively to CNBC.

United Kingdom

Victory Park Capital fund exits Prosper loans (AltFi), Rated: AAA

The £336.8m VPC Specialty Lending fund has sold its total holding in Prosper marketplace loans, representing 4.1 per cent of the Company’s net asset value [NAV].

Valuing Funding Circle (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Back in 2014, Lending Club and OnDeck were riding high. The American startups led a pack of online lending companies “disrupting” consumer and business loans respectively.

The hype reached fever-pitched as they floated within weeks of each other. Lending Club was valued at $5.4bn. OnDeck at $1.3bn.

So, hats off to Funding Circle, the British online lender that is preparing to follow in the footsteps of its struggling peers across the Atlantic.

Making the most of your money (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

AS INFLATION grows ahead of expectations, far too many savers are seeing the value of their hard-earned cash decline.

Recent research from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) found that just under a third (30 per cent) of UK adults would not be able to cope if their mortgage repayments increased by £50 a month.

With the recent 0.25 per cent rate rise, it won’t be long before these households feel the squeeze.

The rise of P2P

UK savers and investors are also willing to back British businesses. Six in 10 (63 per cent) would be willing to lend to a business. Over a quarter (26 per cent) would lend to a business that could use their assets as security. A quarter (25 per cent) would lend to an established business that has been operating for a few years and 11 per cent would lend to a start-up business.

Click here for more information on ArchOver.

Folk2Folk Announces New CEO as Giles Cross Takes Over Leadership Role P2P Lending Platform (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Folk2Folk, a unique peer to peer lending platform that combines physical locations with an online platform matching investors with small business loans, has announced the appointment of Giles Cross  Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Cross joined Folk2Folk as Chief Marketing Officer in June 2017.

 

Property Lender Financed Around 1,800 UK Homes in 2017 (Landlord News), Rated: A

LendInvest, a leading specialist property lender, lent £500m to help professional property investors, developers and landlords buy, build or renovate around 1,800 UK homes during 2017.

This marks a 33% increase on the previous year’s £375m lending record.

LendInvest has now lent a total of over £1.2 billion to property investors and developers.

High touch meets high tech (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

FAIRNESS IS pivotal to Newable Lending’s ethos when it comes to lending – and it’s not afraid to nail its colours to the mast. The peer-to-peer business lender is a member of Responsible Finance, a trade body working to increase access to fair finance.

FCA financial advice director steps down (Mortgage Strategy), Rated: B

FCA director of life insurance and financial advice Linda Woodall has stepped down from the regulator.

The regulator understands she intends to retire. A replacement has yet to be appointed.

European Union

New EU financial market rules off to smooth start: Watchdog (Khaleej Times), Rated: AAA

The rollout of new European Union securities rules on Wednesday has been glitch-free so far, though disruptions in coming days and months cannot be ruled out, the bloc’s markets watchdog said.

But given the complexity and size of the reform, Esma could not rule out glitches in coming days or weeks, Maijoor said.

Rocky start for Europe’s financial market revamp (Handelsblatt Global), Rated: A

Even after a year-long delay, precious few experts fully understand the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, Europe’s biggest financial markets reform in almost a decade.

Among other key changes, and in a belated nod to technological progress, telephone-based trading will be replaced with electronic platforms in bonds and off-exchange derivatives. And consumers should immediately see financial advice standards rise.

Analysts estimate that MiFid II will cost $6 billion (€5 billion) to implement in the first five years.

Exclusive Interview with Fast Invest CEO Simona Vaitkune (ChipIn), Rated: A

We recently sat down with the CEO of Fast Invest, Simona Vaitkune to have a chat with her about the project as well as finding out her thoughts and insights.

Tell us about how you came up with the idea of Fast Invest. Did you face a problem within the industry or do you think there is a gap in the market for Fast Invest to fill?

Everything started when I wanted not only to save money but to earn from my savings, to get passive income. I began to search for a platform which would fit me, but I could not find anything because I wanted to do it easily and safely without investing a lot of money.

What do you think is the biggest problem Fast Invest will solve and why is the problem important to solve?

Fast Invest is solving a problem that I mentioned before – complexity and large entry point of investment platforms. With Fast Invest, you can start investing from 1 Euro, Zloty or Pound. On top of that, you do not need to worry about your money, because we offer BuyBack and default guarantees.

International

International P2P Lending Volumes December 2017 (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

Mintos finished a remarkable month fueled by the cashback promotion. The total volume for the reported marketplaces adds up to 582 million Euro.

This month I added PeerBerryLook&Fin and MyTripleA.

Source: P2P-Banking

Setting the Tone for 2018 in the Most Important Charts of 2017 (Let’s Talk Payments), Rated: AAA

In 2017, lending startups around the world scored almost $4 billion in total funding, followed by $3.55 billion gathered by InsurTech startups, $3.24 billion invested in payments, and, of course, $850 million pocketed by startups building blockchain-based solutions.

Keep shoppers, the planet, and your profits happy by allowing in-store returns (Biz Report), Rated: A

Reverse-logistics firm Optoro found that nearly half (45%) of people will begin sending back unwanted items no sooner than the ripped up wrapping paper has been balled and binned. UPS recently forecast that returns would peak at 1.4 million packages on Wednesday 3 January, 2018, up 8% on last year and the fourth consecutive yearly increase. UPS said consumers returned more than 1 million packages a day to retailers last month.

According to Optoro’s report, the majority of returns (91%) will take place in-store. While total returns account for more than $351 billion in lost sales for U.S. retailers (Appriss Retail) the fact that most of those returns are happening in store is good news. More than half (57%) of shoppers who return items to a physical store make additional purchases during the process.

Could blockchains replace banks in real estate lending? (American Banker), Rated: A

The startup Propy recently sold an apartment in the Ukraine through its blockchain, and in the last week of December it began letting Californians buy and sell properties on its blockchain using bitcoin. They will be able to use U.S. dollars next year.

ShelterZoom has built an Ethereum-based platform that went live Dec. 14. RealBlocks lets people invest in housing on its blockchain with fiat or digital currency (and starting in February 2018, its own tokens). It has completed seven deals so far.

RealBlocks lets people invest in rental properties like Section 8 housing over a blockchain.

It has also partnered with SALT Lending so that after February, participants will be able to take out a loan or line of credit using the tokens they buy from RealBlocks as collateral.

A blockchain could also facilitate crowdsourced mortgages. Instead of taking out a $200,000 loan from one lender, a borrower could get $2,000 each from 1,000 investors.

18 Blockchain Predictions for 2018 (Consensy), Rated: A

Bitcoin as a digital store of value is the least interesting use of blockchain … There, I said it.

A Loan

Source: Consensys

An Initial Public Offering or Crowdfunding

Source: Consensys

10. People will take control of their online identities

We will continue to see the growing trend wherein people, companies, and machines manage their identity self-sovereignly rather then by a third party service provider like a bank, Facebook, or another internet service provider.

Interestingly, governments will increasingly find themselves as attestors to these self-sovereign identities, similar to how Zug, Switzerland is attesting to citizens identity usage with uPort, Ethereum leading self-sovereign identity solution.

11. In 2018, governments and regulatory bodies will mandate the use of blockchain to track and trace high value assets.

Major Fortune 50 companies are already demanding public chain track and trace use cases for which they are using the Viant platform to build their solutions.

18. The total market cap of blockchain-based digital assets will exceed $2 trillion U.S. dollars by January 1, 2019.

The price of ether will exceed $2,000 in 2018. Ether will continue to outperform bitcoin, and the total market cap of ether will exceed that of bitcoin in 2018.

8 fintech trends on our radar for 2018 (O’Reilly Media), Rated: B

  1. AI will be implemented across the stack
  2. New products will make advanced analytics easier
  3. Blockchain technologies will be used in financial services products
  4. Data partnerships will increase
  5. We’ll see even greater regionalization and regulation in payments – This is an area where both startups and global companies are flourishing. The technologies, protocols, and players vary by region. I’m amazed by how widely used QR codes are in China (WeChat and Alipay) and the rest of the world (GoPay in Southeast Asia, Paytm in India). For companies operating in the EU, PSD2 is a new 2018 regulation aimed at fostering innovation and competition in the payments industry.
  6. Customer experience will be increasingly mobile
  7. There will be increased pressure around privacy and security
  8. More quants will be analyzing or trading cryptocurrencies
Australia

Can a fintech lending firm disrupt the big four? (Asiamoney), Rated: AAA

As CVs for Australian bankers go, Jason Yetton’s background doesn’t quite scream ‘disruptor’. High-flyer perhaps, certainly ambitious and across trends. But helming a startup?

Two years on from Westpac and now running SocietyOne, the Sydney-based loans fintech that is one of Australia’s more prominent financial startups, the mid-career Yetton seems to bite with near evangelistic fervour the very hand of establishment banking that once nourished him.

Australian banking is backward in many critical areas, Yetton tells Asiamoney. He wants to see a tech-led democratization that would revolutionize payments and settlement, as well as lending, data and information infrastructure, while allowing customers to switch banks without penalty.

The current system preserves the status quo, Yetton says, in which the formidable foursome control 80% to 85% of Australia’s banking market and from which they earned a collective A$32 billion ($24 billion) in the 2017 financial year.

India

Funds Raised By Indian Startups Hit Three-Month Low (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Funds raised by Indian startups hit a three-month low, as four startups together managed to raise just around $10 million last week. That compares with $36 million raised by 10 startups the week before in angel, seed or venture capital funding.

Online lending firm Lendingkart Finance Ltd. raised around $3.7 million (Rs 25 crore) from the country’s largest public sector bank State Bank of India to grow its loan books, the company said in a statement.

Indian start-up ecosystem on a growth path in 2018 (Outlook), Rated: A

India’s start-up eco-system has been growing at a rapid pace and has all the right ingredients to support the fast paced economic growth of the country. With an addition of 1000 start-ups in the year 2017, the start-ups have played a big role in the growth of the Indian economy, making it a major source of employment, innovation and industrialisation.

i2ifunding, India’s second largest P2P lending platform plans to expand its business across the country, instead of focussing on metro cities.

Asia

LaLa World Global to Launch $ 10M Public Token Sale Jan. 5 (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Blockchain startup LaLa World is pleased to announce the long anticipated launch of the Lala Token sale to commence on January 5, 2018 and to run through February 5, 2018. A total of 150 Million LALA Tokens will be released in an initial coin sale (ICO) starting this Friday.

LALA World Products from their Financial Ecosystem Include:

  1. LALA Transfer – A Peer-to-Peer local and global remittance backed by crypto as well as fiat.
  2. LALA Bill Pay – Local and International bill payments for you and your family.
  3. LALA Lends – Domestic and International peer-to-peer lending via crypto and fiat, individual and small businesses.
  4. LALA Card – Crypto and Fiat card synced to your Wallet and usable at millions of PoS globally.
  5. LALA Kit – Contains a mobile phone with pre-loaded LALA Wallet, LALA Insurance, LALA Card, partners’ products, etc.

LaLa World is a wholesome financial ecosystem for the unbanked, starting with migrants and their families back home. Investors can purchase LaLa Tokens here: 

8 promising Fintech Startups in Singapore to Watch in 2018 (Fintech News), Rated: A

  1. MyCash Online is an online marketplace designed for migrant workers in Malaysia and Singapore.
  2. Instarem is a remittance startup that aims to offer fast, safe and cost effective cross border money transfer services for individuals and businesses from countries including Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore to more than 25 countries.
  3. Singapore Life is a new life insurance firm which commenced its operations in 2017 by providing insurance solutions via its online platform.
  4. soCash has developed a solution that allows people to withdraw cash at small businesses part of its “Cashpoints” network. The solution plugs into the mobile apps of banks.
  5. Bluzelle Networks is a blockchain startup that’s building a decentralized, on-demand, scalable database for decentralized applications.
  6. TenX is a cryptocurrency payment platform that consists of a wallet, physical debit card, bank account, ATM access and more.
  7. AGDelta is a Singapore headquartered fintech software company specialized in digital wealth management.
  8. Flywire, formerly peerTransfer, is a provider of international payment solutions headquartered in Boston with operations in Singapore, China, Australia, Spain and the UK.
Canada

New payday loan rules still too soft, says group (CBC.ca), Rated: A

On Monday, New Brunswick became the eighth Canadian province to introduce regulations governing the payday loan industry.

Earlier this week, the Financial and Consumer Services Commission announced a new set of regulations, including mandatory licensing for payday lenders, requiring then to display posters showing their rates, and making insurance on loans optional.

Lenders are also prohibited from issuing more than one loan at a time to the same consumer, or lending more than 30 per cent of the consumer’s net pay.

Under the new rules, the commission is able to take action against unlicensed lenders and those that fail to comply with legislation.

Africa

Kenya most lucrative market for fintech top staff in Africa (Business Daily), Rated: AAA

Kenya is the most attractive market in Africa for workers in the fintech industry with new data showing that companies pay the highest salaries in comparison to their peers on the continent.

In a recent survey, the Digital Frontiers Institute (DFI) found that executives and senior managers working for Kenyan fintech companies earn each a base monthly salary of Sh2 million (Sh24.6 million or $238,509 annually) and Sh1.2 million (Sh14.2 million or $137,303 annually), respectively.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday November 27 2017, Daily News Digest

fintech TransUnion

News Comments Today’s main news: Ant Financial bans high-interest consumer loan products. Lending Club boosts MPL credit metrics in 3rd self-sponsored ABS. Funding Circle to launch Isa next week. Zopa reforms how returns are displayed. Robo-advisors in China must be licensed. CreditEase to pioneer fund of funds for direct real estate purchases. New Zealand publishes first P2P/crowdfunding statistical returns. Today’s main […]

fintech TransUnion

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

India

Asia

Africa

News Summary

United States

Lending Club boosts MPL credit metrics in 3rd self-sponsored ABS (Asset Securitization Report), Rated: AAA

LendingClub’s third self-sponsored securitization of online marketplace loans is benefiting from the company’s recent tightening of credit standards.

The loans backing the $330 million Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2017-P2 involve borrowers with higher FICO scores that have allowed LendingClub to reduce its credit enhancement levels on the deal.

CLUB Credit Trust 2017-P2 has a collateral pool of 22,062 prime, consumer loans with a cumulative net balance of $368 million, or an average balance of $16,681.

TransUnion Study On FinTech Market; PayPal Enters Robo Advice Market (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports that household debt totaled $12.95 Tn last quarter – the 13th straight quarterly increase. As a share of GDP however, household debt stands at 66% below a peak of 87% in early 2009.

PayPal continues to expand the range of its consumer offerings. PayPal started with payments initially, moved to personal and small business loans, and is now delivering asset management solutions. The partnership will offer Acorns a unique channel for customer acquisition and allow Acorns to compete with Betterment and Wealthfront. Paypal led a $30 Mn investment round in Acorns Grow in April 2016.

FinTechs are Growing and Taking Market Share

FinTech’s market share has grown from virtually zero in 2012 to 30% in 2016. The outstanding balances on personal loans have doubled to over $100 Bn in 2017 from late 2013, with 128 lenders making more than 10,000 personal loans annually. FinTechs compete with banks to originate loans to prime consumers, and FinTech’s originate 30% of their loans to non-prime consumers where there is less competition from banks.

Source: TransUnion

FinTechs Have The Most Robust, Risk-Based Pricing

Source: TransUnion

Brian Dally of Groundfloor (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • Where the idea for Groundfloor come from.
  • Why Brian decided to start in the real estate asset class.
  • How many states they are operating in today for both borrowers and investors.
  • How they go about sourcing real estate deals.
  • Why they decided to focus on non-accredited investors.
  • How their securities offering is structured.
  • The minimum investment allowed per deal.
  • How returns have been for investors.
  • Which side of the marketplace is constraining growth today.
  • How they differentiate themselves from their competition.
  • The performance of their loan book to date.
  • Their business model and how they make money.
  • Details of their first institutional investor and why this is good for retail investors.
  • Their goal for an institutional/retail investor mix.
  • What the future holds for Groundfloor.

Online lenders pull out the popcorn, as the Trump administration fights to control the CFPB (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Republican lawmakers have long sought to reduce the CFPB’s oversight. Now dueling appointments put its immediate future in question. Last night, President Trump named his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, as acting director of the agency hours after its current leader, Obama-appointed Richard Cordray, announced he would leave the job.

To counter the administration’s plans, on his way out the door, Cordray named his chief of staff, Leandra English, as the agency’s deputy director.

Under the law, the appointment should make English the agency’s acting director, though the White House says that Mulvaney plans to show up at the CFSB Monday morning anyway. The White House further says Mulvaney will keep his current job as head of the Office of Management and Budget.

If the Trump administration follows through on its threats, Mulvaney will lead both agencies until a permanent head of CFPB is chosen and confirmed by the Senate.

Nobody Knows Who the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s New Boss Is (New York Magazine), Rated: A

On his way out, he appointed his chief of staff, Leandra English, to take over the CFPB, citing the Dodd-Frank Act, which states that the agency’s deputy director will take over the agency if the director leaves. Trump responded by naming Mulvaney as expected, pointing to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act as justification for his move.

The eventual director must be confirmed by the Senate; Trump’s pick is expected within weeks.

3 trends powering the rise of financial robo-advice (VentureBeat), Rated: A

1. Availability of data

We generate more than 2.5 billion GB of data every day.

In one notable example, JP Morgan and Intuit earlier this year announced their companies will make data available via the Open Financial Exchange API. Their goal is to make it easier and more secure for consumers to use their data across various financial apps and websites.

2. Increased power and storage

  • Google Tensor Processing Unit.
  • Nvidia Volta.
  • Huawei Kirin.

3. Advancements in AI

In particular, deep learning and boosting models enable significant leaps forward in the application of machine learning. These include design concepts such as Google’s Capsule Network, which offers an alternative to traditional neural nets, and replicative and transfer learning, which enable pattern discoveries and accuracies impossible by human counterparts.

The results of studies using these ideas are impressive. In one example, University of Mannheim researchers showed how ontologies help some machine learning models validate data 50 times faster. And Google’s AutoAI demonstrated it can create better machine learning code than the researchers who made it.

Student debt relief trumps other benefits (Employee Benefit Adviser), Rated: A

Student loan repayment programs are climbing the pantheon of employee benefits, suggests a recent survey of full-time workers with student loan debt.

Pollfish found that 23% would gladly give up healthcare benefits for a student loan repayment benefit. In addition, 46% would relinquish paid time off and 33% would do the same for retirement benefits in exchange for a repayment benefit. Also, 53% said they’d consider a salary cut in exchange for a student loan repayment benefit.

Of 1,000 college graduates polled by SoFi, an online personal finance company, 90% were more willing to accept a job offer at a new company if their employer offered a student loan contribution benefit. In the Pollfish survey, 84% gave the same response.

The Most Well-Funded Fintech Startup In Each State (CB Insights), Rated: A

State Company Total Equity Funding ($M)
Arizona CampusLogic $ 17.5
Arkansas LumoXchange $ 0.2
California SoFi $ 2,040.5
Colorado IP Commerce $ 54.7
Connecticut PayVeris $ 14.2
DC Fundrise $ 52.6
Delaware College Avenue Student Loans $ 50.0
Florida YellowPepper $ 34.0
Georgia Kabbage $ 490.0
Idaho VisitPay $ 18.4
Illinois Avant $ 655.0
Indiana Allied Payment Network $ 2.6
Iowa Dwolla $ 39.1
Kansas C2FO $ 99.7
Kentucky Inked Brands $ 4.0
Louisiana Zlien $ 7.2
Maryland Regent Education $ 39.7
Massachusetts Toast $ 138.0
Michigan Clinc $ 7.5
Minnesota Bright Health $ 240.0
Missouri Clearent $ 27.5
Nebraska D3 Technology $ 35.6
Nevada Filament $ 31.8
New Jersey Billtrust $ 104.5
New York Oscar Insurance Corporation $ 727.5
North Carolina AvidXchange $ 558.2
Ohio Aver $ 23.2
Oklahoma CreditPoint Software $ 1.1
Oregon NVoicePay $ 21.5
Pennsylvania InstaMed Communications $ 101.9
Rhode Island Upserve $ 191.5
South Carolina Ceterus $ 10.2
South Dakota ReliaMax $ 3.9
Tennessee Digital Reasoning Systems $ 75.6
Texas BigCommerce $ 164.5
Utah MX $ 54.1
Virginia StreetShares $ 18.9
Washington Avalara $ 253.0
Wisconsin Dynamis Software Corporation $ 4.3
Source: CB Insights

Bridge loan helps borrowers as they pursue graduate degrees (SFGate), Rated: B

The sellers wanted to accept the offer but were concerned about the VA financing with an online lender who was unresponsive to the listing agent’s calls. The Realtor advised the couple that if they could find a local lender who could preapprove them with conventional financing, their offer would be accepted.

Wyatt held a video conference with the couple to clarify the structure of the file and learned that both clients were pursuing their graduate degrees and took time off work to attend classes. In addition, the co-borrower had recently received an employment offer for a salaried position.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle Isa to launch next week (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer platform Funding Circle has announced that it will start rolling out its Isa account to all current investors from next Thursday (30th November).

UK peer-to-peer lenders plan to raise millions from ISAs (Financial Times), Rated: A

Britain’s largest peer-to-peer lenders plan to raise hundreds of millions of pounds from savers in the coming weeks even as many of them say they will reduce higher risk lending in case there is a downturn.

“We expect a lot of demand,” Samir Desai, chief executive of Funding Circle, told the Financial Times. “We have done lots of surveys and a huge proportion of the base told us they would like to put all of the money they invest with us through the ISA.”

Zopa addresses default concerns by reforming how returns are displayed (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA is working on improving the way long-term returns are displayed so investors do not become overly concerned with monthly defaults in their portfolio.

The peer-to-peer lender said it is working on a prototype that would show investors their current portfolio performance, a range of what their returns will be and what their target rate is.

The display, currently in testing, includes a graph showing portfolio growth, and the net cash earnings after losses, a range of what the returns will be that narrows closer to maturity and what the target rate is in comparison to what was advertised.

Welendus launches new £150,000 crowdfunding campaign (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

PEER-TO-PEER payday loan platform Welendus has launched a new crowdfunding round on Seedrs this morning to raise an additional £150,000.

The lender, which raised £100,000 from investors during a Seedrs fundraise in March, has already reached 92 per cent of its target by attracting funding from the existing crowdfunding backers.

NatWest joins the robo-advisers (This is Money), Rated: A

High-street bank NatWest has launched a fully regulated robo-advice proposition charging £10 for customers seeking to invest sums as low as £500.

Unlike some rival robo-advisers that offer guidance based on responses to just a few questions, or simplified advice that doesn’t factor in your complete financial position, NatWest said its process will offer full-fat advice akin to the traditional face-to-face process but online.

57% of SMEs support European Free Trade Agreement (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

More than half of small business owners (57%) are supportive of joining the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA), a new survey has revealed.
Research by peer-to-peer platform Funding Circle has found that the key reasons cited by businesses for wanting to join the EFTA included the ease of exporting and importing (59%), a larger customer base (46%) and lower tariffs (42%).

 

Was the Budget boom or bust for personal finance? (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

PEER-TO-PEER lenders are split about the outcome of the Budget for people’s finances.

RateSetter said there was “a notable absence of measures to help people put away more for the future” in Wednesday’s fiscal event, but Lending Works called it “a boost for personal finance”.

Rethinking bricks and mortar: alternatives for property investors (Your Money), Rated: B

A mismatch of supply and demand has made UK property more unaffordable than ever for would be buyers. Property investors pursuing the buy-to-let route are also facing challenges due to a recent crackdown in tax legislation. Against this backdrop, peer to peer (P2P) and equity crowdfunding have grown in popularity as alternative ways to access the property market.

Key considerations before picking an investment route

 

  • Investment risk
  • Debt or equity
  • Liquidity
  • Who’s the provider

RateSetter Appoints Richard Steele Regional Manager of Midlands (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

UK-based peer-to-peer lending platform RateSetter announced on Friday it has appointed Richard Steele as its regional manager for the Midlands. According to the online lender, Steele has more than 15 years of business lending experience and prior to joining RateSetter, he held the relationship manager position at Barclays and business development manager at BCRS Business Loans.

China

WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On November 17th, top financial regulators in mainland China (including PBOC, CBRC, CSRC, CIRC and SAFE) released a new set of rules covering the country’s asset management market. It is the first time that the regulators designated one of the articles to Robo-advisors.

According to the article, financial institutions that conduct Robo-advisory services or AI-driven investment programs should be granted license from financial regulator before carrying out any operations.

Here Comes Tencent Credit

Two years ago, Ant Financial, the financial affiliate of Alibaba, launched its own credit scoring system Sesame Credit. This week, Tencent, Alibaba’s main rival in China, finally followed suit by launching a similar and competitive product, Tencent Credit. The credit score ranges between 300 and 850.

Sesame Credit Ceases Cooperation with Cash Loan Platforms

On November 21st, a cash loan platform told the media that they had received a notification from Sesame Credit, the credit scoring services of Ant Financial. According to the notification, Sesame Credit will cease to cooperate with cash loans from December 12th of 2017 due to some of its illegal behavior regarding interest rate setting and debt collection.

Chinese fintech firm CreditEase to pioneer funds of funds as alternative to direct real estate purchases (SCMP), Rated: AAA

CreditEase, one of China’s largest financial technology companies, has set its sights on funds of funds focusing on real estate projects as founder and chief executive Tang Ning anticipates a new property investment scenario.

At present, high-net-worth individuals in China seeking returns from property investment often directly buy and own residential or commercial units, betting on the appreciation of assets.

CreditEase, which specialises in lending to small businesses and consumers as well as wealth management for affluent investors, plans to set up a clutch of funds of funds that will allocate capital to leading global real estate funds managed by big names such as Blackstone and KKR.

China Online Lender Qudian’s Latest Plunge Knocks CEO From Billionaire Ranks (Forbes), Rated: A

Qudian lost 24.3% on Friday to end at $12.22, the worst close since it listed at $24 on Oct. 18.  Friday’s decline left Luo’s fortune at $776 million.

Luo, 34, ranked No. 255 on the 2017 Forbes China Rich List published on Nov. 16 with an estimated fortune of $1.48 billion.

Shares in Qudian, which is 11% owned by Alibaba Group affiliate Ant Financial, and other Chinese online lenders have been falling on reports that regulators plan to tighten restrictions on microlenders. On Friday, Qudian said it would cap charges and costs to customers linked to Alipay at an annual interest rate of 24% (see announcement and details here).  Qudian also said it is working to extend credit through its own app where it can charge up to an annual rate of 36%.

Alibaba Affiliate Bans High-interest Consumers Loan Products (ValueWalk), Rated: AAA

Ant Financial, the financial arm of Alibaba, has barred consumer loanswith an annual interest rate above 24% on its Alipay platform.

Ant Financial stated that it has increased monitoring of the financial service providers on Alipay and its credit platform, Sesame Credit, and found some inappropriate collection methods and interest rates above legal limits, according to Reuters. Further, Alibaba’s Ant Financial stated that it would withdraw cooperation with some cash loan providers. Sesame Credit is a proprietary credit scoring system, which gives Alipay e-wallet users a credit score.

China Fintech Firm Is Said to Mull Fate of $ 500 Million IPO (Bloomberg), Rated: A

LexinFintech Holdings Ltd., owner of Chinese online lending platform Fenqile, plans to meet advisers this weekend to discuss the fate of its proposed U.S. initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The company aims to decide whether to imminently start its IPO roadshow or wait for a later date when market sentiment may be better, according to the people.

Yirendai Awarded ISO 27001 Certification (Business Insider), Rated: A

Yirendai Ltd. (NYSE: YRD) (“Yirendai” or the “Company”) announced today that it has been awarded certification to the international standard for Information Security Management (ISO 27001) from British Standards Institution.

The ISO 27001 certification is an internationally recognized best practice framework for an information security management system (“ISMS”) and specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving information security management within an organization. It also takes into account risk assessment and risk treatment with regards to security of information.

Tencent to set up fintech lab in Xiongan (ECNS.cn), Rated: B

Tencent Holdings Ltd, Asia’s most valuable firm, is planning to set up a financial technology lab and digitize public medical services in the Xiongan New Area, as part of a broader push to gain a foothold in China’s latest economic zone.

European Union

One Idea to Make Europe Bigger in Tech Is to Pay Employees More (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Europe isn’t producing the kind of large, globally-influential technology companies like those coming out of the U.S. and China. A perennial question is why?

One reason might be that European startups don’t give employees as much of a chance to strike it rich, according to a new study by the European venture capital firm Index Ventures. While startup employees in the U.S. are often rewarded with stock options — allowing them to cash out handsomely if a company is sold or goes public — young firms in Europe don’t offer the same scale of incentives.

In an analysis of 73 companies, Index found that European employees own on average about 10 percent of the startup where they work, compared to 20 percent for U.S. workers. European companies often skew stock options to executives rather than rank-and-file employees.

A tech VC explains why Revolut is such a hot ticket as the fintech app hits 1 million users (Business Insider), Rated: A

Revolut announced the milestone on Friday, saying that customers have now completed 42 million transactions on its app worth a combined $6 billion (£4.5 billion). The company began as a foreign exchange app linked to a pre-paid card but has since branched out into broader financial services, such as current accounts, insurance, and investments.

Revolut, which is applying for a full European banking license, said that 42% of its customers are aged 25-35, “a clear indication that traditional banks are no longer meeting the needs of younger, tech-savvy generations.”

Flender closes in on £2m funding round (Independent), Rated: A

Dublin-based peer-to-peer lending business Flender is close to raising more than €2m in its latest funding round.

Some €400,000 of the money has been raised from its own platform – the first peer-to-peer equity investment on an Irish platform. Terms are close to being agreed for the remaining balance of a £2m (€2.25m) round.

CS Invests in Swiss Fintech (finews), Rated: B

Credit Suisse has bought a majority stake in Tradeplus24, a Zurich-based fintech firm specialized in small- and mid-sized business loans. The Swiss bank bought into a series A1 financing through its subsidiary, SVC, the bank said in a statement.

International

2 investment trusts for income investors seeking reliable high yields (The Motley Fool), Rated: AAA

With interest rates still near historic lows, it can be hard to find mainstream investments that will pay out a significant yield.

But for investors who don’t want to go through the trouble of setting up their own account with a peer-to-peer lending platform, P2P Global Investments (LSE: P2P) offers an alternative route to gain access to the sector. It’s an investment trust that offers investors a ready-made and diversified portfolio of peer-to-peer loans, saving time from building a portfolio from scratch and enabling investors to earn income straight away. At its current share price, it has a trailing 12-month dividend yield of 6%.

ETHLend – A Fully Decentralized & Democratized P2P Lending Platform On The Ethereum Blockchain (Chipin), Rated: A

The main feature of ETHLend is the financing options available in ETH, which allows users to borrow or lend ETH using ETHLend’s digital tokens in an efficient manner or by using ENS domains as a collateral.

The ETHLend platform can be also used as a tool for both B2B and B2C transactions.

An interesting aspect of ETHLend is that both borrowers and lenders will receive 0.1 credit tokens (equal to 1 ETH) each for every loan that is repaid successfully.

These credit tokens can then be used as collateral for loans on the platform or sold for profit.

Here are the details of the upcoming LEND token sale:

Token name: LEND

Token base: Ethereum (ERC-20)

Token supply: 1,000,000,000

Token sale duration: 25th November, 2017 – 27th December, 2017

Token sale target: 37,600 ETH (hard cap)

Token exchange rate: 1 ETH = 25,000-27,500 LEND (depending on period of sale)

Celsius – The P2P Decentralized Credit Protocol Built On Smart Contract Technology (Chipin), Rated: A

The modern credit system is a mess, particularly for millennials and the Generation X youths.

Celsius is a P2P and blockchain-powered global credit network designed to improve the efficiency of modern credit and financing systems.

There are 4 types of loans in the Celsius platform:

    • The platform will enable millennials to establish a digital credit score and be issued a credit line; the credit can then be accessed by a sponsored credit card from Celsius.
    • Celsius will also allow the platform’s users to expand their credit limit against their own cryptocurrency asset holdings they have at Celsius. The extended credit can be easily accessed through several options.
    • Members can also choose to lend any cryptocurrencies they own and earn up to 5x the normal interest rates they get from banks. Finally, members can borrow cryptocurrencies in a secure and transparent manner
    • To safeguard the platform’s ecosystem, both lenders and borrowers on Celsius are verified and carefully selected to prevent fraud.

Here are the details of the upcoming DEG token sale:

Token name: DEG

Token base: Ethereum (ERC-20)

Token supply: 1,000,000,000

Token sale duration: 25th of January, 2018 – TBA (pre-sale is currently LIVE)

Token sale target: $100,000,000 (hard cap)

Token exchange rate: $0.20 = 1 DEG

Australia/New Zealand

Why SocietyOne needs more than its billionaire backers (Financial Review), Rated: AAA

The other is it’s in the midst of what is expected to be its last funding round before listing the business, raising up to $20 million in equity based on a valuation of up to $200 million, which is based on a multiple of one times its loan book.

The raising, managed by Venture Advisory and due to close late this month, is part of a long-term, highly anticipated plan to target a sharemarket listing in 2018.

SocietyOne is expected to need a book worth $500 million or so before it starts breaking even.

Chief executive Jason Yetton has said previously the company is eyeing a 2 per cent to 3 per cent share of the $105 billion consumer finance market in the long term, of which credit card debt comprises $42 billion.

Fortress backs $ 120m capital raising by MoneyMe (Financial Review), Rated: AAA

Global credit investor Fortress Investment Group will invest $100 million in debt capital to support MoneyMe’s consumer lending growth as the fintech considers an initial public offering in early 2019.

Fortress’s investment is part of a $120 million asset-backed securitisation deal, which also includes a $20 million bond, issued by Evans & Partners, which was oversubscribed.

MoneyMe, which has made $150 million in personal loans to 70,000 customers in the past four years, is both cash flow positive and profitable, very rare for an Australian fintech.

Of its $150 million in lending, $80 million has been advanced in the past 12 months.

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority Publishes First Peer-To-Peer/Crowdfunding Statistical Returns (MondoVisione), Rated: AAA

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) today published its first statistical reporton peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding in New Zealand.

The data shows $259.9 million is currently loaned to individuals and $29.5 million loaned to businesses through peer-to-peer lending in the year ending 30 June 2017.

A total of $74.2 million was raised from investors through crowdfunding, including wholesale investors, in the same period.

Tic:Toc to undercut broker distribution in white label play (TheAdviser), Rated: A

Mortgage brokers are facing a double threat from online lender Tic:Toc, which is seeing a surge in demand from consumers and interest from banks and non-bank lenders looking for cheaper distribution.

The fintech started lending four months ago and has received approximately $330 million of applications in that time, with conversions hovering around 17 per cent this month.

Financial regulator shines light on P2P lending, crowdfunding (Stuff), Rated: A

Kiwis have nearly 17,000 loans through “peer-to-peer” lending platforms, but more than one in 12 borrowers were behind on repayments, according to the Financial Markets Authority.

There were 16,977 loans outstanding with P2P lenders at the end of June, it said, of which 1469 were in arrears. The average size of loans being taken out was $8771.

During the year, 833 loans with a total value of $8.5 million were written off.

Why banks and fin-techs need each other (NZ Herald), Rated: B

Chris Russell, HSBC New Zealand chief executive, said history was littered with banks who had spent large sums of money on developing new technology, only to find it had gone in another direction while it was working on it.

Globally Russell said HSBC was setting up innovation labs to work with financial technology firms and it was China and India where it saw the biggest sources of development.

In New Zealand it is also partnering with a local fin-tech, although Russell won’t name who yet.

India

The quick and safe way to build a credit score (livemint), Rated: A

If you are new in the workforce, you can start by getting a low-limit credit card from the bank where you have a salary account, said Sumit Bali, senior executive vice president and head-personal assets, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.

Alternative credit scoring

While the RBI-regulated credit bureaus are currently not allowed to use alternative data for credit scoring; in other developed markets parameters like utility bill payments, insurance premium payments have been used for credit scoring (read more on it here.

However, financial institutions including top public and private sector banks and NBFCs in India, have started using alternative data in multiple verifications and validations across the credit value chain, Agarwal said.

Asia

Considering an ICO… then read this (The Star), Rated: AAA

The ICO euphoria is likely being fuelled by the fact that despite all the negative news surrounding ICOs and cryptocurrencies, the price of bitcoin has generally kept soaring, despite the many mini crashes it tends to suffer.

For sober markets like Malaysia and Singapore, the regulators’ stance is clear. They are not outlawing ICOs but making a simple statement: if fund-raising is your main objective, then please take note of existing securities laws, which have been built and refined over a very long time.

Malaysia should not become a hotbed for dodgy ICOs.

Asian regulators should focus on light touch for ICOs (Asian Review), Rated: A

China banned initial coin offerings in September as “a form of unapproved illegal public financing behavior.” South Korea followed suit a few weeks later. Regulators in Hong Kong, Singapore, the U.S. and other countries have also expressed concerns. What is it that has them so worried?

Africa

A Digital Transactions Takeover right under our nose – Cassava Fintech (Newsday), Rated: AAA

Cassava Fintech is a specialized Pan-African Fintech company that delivers innovative digital transaction solutions across the mobile ecosystem. Sounds fancy right? Not quite. Simply put Econet’s vision has expanded beyond Telecoms and our Zimbabwean borders. Econet’s premise sits within an inclusive connected future that leaves no African behind.

Fintech SMEs to drive 72% of bank innovation (The Star), Rated: A

Financial technology startups, commonly known as fintechs, will be responsible for 72 per cent of financial innovations in the next three years, a new industry report shows.

Financial technology startups, commonly known as fintechs, will be responsible for 72 per cent of financial innovations in the next three years, a new industry report shows.

81 per cent of financial institutions said they are currently partnering with start-ups or intend to in the next 12 months.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday October 11 2017, Daily News Digest

alternative lending and payday lenders

News Comments Today’s main news: College Ave completes $161M securitization of private student loans.Marlette Funding prepares new deal.SoFi’s latest student loan securitization sees strong demand.Zopa closing in on completing the opening of new bank.Mintos exceeds 35K investors.JD Finance launches bank deposit product with yield rate up to 5%.SocietyOne hits $350M in total loan originations.Crisil withdraws […]

alternative lending and payday lenders

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

India

Asia

Africa

News Summary

United States

College Ave Secures Securitization at $ 161 million in Private Student Loans (The Student Loan Report), Rated: AAA

Only three years after its inception, a major student loan marketplace lender, College Ave Student Loans, announced the completion of its first securitization of private student loans. The $161 million transaction got an ”A” rating from DBRS and a ”BBB” rating from S&P according to College Ave. The sole underwriter of the deal completed earlier in the summer was Barclays.

Marlette Funding preps deal as industry heads for “critical quarter” (Global Capital), Rated: AAA

Online lender Marlette Funding is marketing a securitization this week, as the wider marketplace lending industry gears up for an important fourth quarter.

Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Citi are joint lead managers on the $312m deal, according to a source briefed on the matter. The deal is backed by unsecured consumer loans, which the company originates through Cross River Bank (CRB), and then repurchases before selling to third party loan ….

SoFi’s latest student loan securitization met with strong demand (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Credit rating agencies aren’t overly concerned about recent management changes at Social Finance, and it appears that investors feel the same way. The company’s latest student loan securitization attracted strong interest, and priced at levels similar to or better to its previous transaction, completed in July.

Why the Next Phase for Fintech Is Collaboration, Not Just Competition (Wharton), Rated: AAA

Fintech is growing up: Financial institutions are increasingly viewing these disruptors as partners while startups are learning that they need the scale and regulatory expertise of the incumbents. Both sides have a lot to learn, and benefit, from each other, according to speakers at the recent “Fintech: The Impact on Consumers, Banking, and Regulatory Policy” conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

“We are actively seeking startups for our members to partner with,” said Robert Nichols, president of the nearly 6,000-member American Banking Association (ABA).

Capital One has integrated its services with Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant and its video-enabled device, Echo Show. Consumers can ask Alexa for their account balance, request that it track their spending or even make a payment. Bank of America is set to debut its chatbot Erica on the bank’s mobile app to help customers with personal finance decisions. Also, more than 30 banks are using Zelle, a service that lets people send money to each other in minutes. It started in 2011 as a collaboration among Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase.

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco launched a fintech portal in May to help companies navigate the regulatory system and show them where to go for further assistance, said Tracy Basinger, its director of financial institution supervision and credit.

One example of alternative data used by online lender the LendingClub is the internet footprint of a customer. It doesn’t use social media information due to privacy concerns. Rather, the company uses things like a geocode IP address for fraud detection.

Overstock’s Regulated Token Exchange Will Launch with Own ICO (Coindesk), Rated: A

Retail giant Overstock.com is to launch its new regulated token exchange with its own initial coin offering (ICO), according to a news report.

The token sale will be the inaugural event for the new exchange, which is set to be the first marketplace specifically for trading tokens classed as securities in the U.S. The service is being launched under the umbrella of Overstock’s capital markets arm, tØ.

The company expects to raise $200 million to $500 million “easily” via the ICO, Byrne said.

Celsius Puts Heat On Credit Card Providers With Blockchain-Based P2P Lending Service (Forbes), Rated: A

This system created a culture of ‘buy now, pay later’, something that came to a grinding halt with the financial crash of 2008. Suddenly, credit was not so easy to come by and the world stopped turning.

Of all disruptions often mentioned in the tech world, the financial crisis was the greatest of them all.

Cash is dying out, digital money and remittances have been completely disrupted and even credit card providers are losing business.

So, step forward, Celsius, an ethereum-member based lending platform that wants to disrupt the consumer credit industry by enabling quick and easy peer-to-peer loans.

These loans will pay higher interest to lenders and charge lower interest to borrowers by splitting the bank profits between the members of the community.

In the US, an astonishing $ 1 trillion, more than 50% of all the consumer credit issued worldwide,is currently controlled by six of the largest US banks. Centralized financial institutions like to offer credit to many of their richest clients – those who have well-established and pristine credit histories, but ignore ‘riskier’ millennials.

Celsius Is Creating A Peer-to-Peer Lending Service That Will Give Millennials Broader Access to Consumer Credit (Coinspeaker), Rated: A

In the U.S., $1.1 trillion, one-half of all the consumer credit issued, is currently controlled by six of the largest banks.

Celsius, an ethereum-based lending platform, announces today its plans to disrupt the consumer credit industry by enabling quick and easy peer-to-peer loans, swapping out big banks and their exorbitant fees for colleagues, friends or other Ethereum token holders. Celsius will focus its efforts on supporting millennials, the generation that often suffers the most at the hands of credit lending  services—a phenomenon we’ve seen recently with the rise of the student and consumer debt in the U.S. Celsius is building the future of consumer credit by migrating credit scores and legacy data to the blockchain and incentivizing millennials to build a new digital identity and credit score that includes their social and digital footprint. This process encourages the creation of a community of lenders and borrowers with lower loss factors and higher on-time payments, enabling greater credit limits at lower interest rates.

Celsius will hold an ICO for its Degree token in January, but the company just initiated its presale of $30 million from accredited investors. Celsius has added many notable names to its advisory, partner and investor groups including serial entrepreneur Jeff Pulver, co-founder of Vonage and VoIP Pioneer; Chris Dannen, founder and partner of Iterative Capital Management; Ismail Malik, founder of BlockchainLabs; Lou Kerner, top blogger on Medium; and Miko Matsumura, founder of Evercoin.

Celsius offers its users a variety of features, including:

  • Peer-to-peer lending
  • Digital credit score: Celsius will issue each user a credit score based on their digital identity and any other user uploaded data including FICO credit scores and past transaction history on websites such as Amazon and eBay.
  • Global Network
  • Insuring the credit: Celsius provides insurance so that if the borrower defaults, Celsius covers the portion of the principal loan amount for the lender and is responsible to recover the money owed to the lenders.

Need Personal Loans? Blockchain Is Here (Cointelegraph), Rated: A

Companies that offer personal loans (even enterprise-level banking institutions) charge exorbitant fees, and often require you to ‘sign in blood’ for the loan. In fact, much of the consumer credit market is held by just a few major banking institutions.

Nowhere is this situation more critical than among millennials.

According to a recent article in Forbes, the answer for this system seems to be coming from Blockchain technology.

Marketplace lenders should seek to be boring (Global Capital), Rated: A

The marketplace lending industry, particularly in the US, has always sat in a transient grey area between banking and tech firm, providing lending services while also preaching ‘disruption’, as Silicon Valley firms are fond of doing.

While the industry’s image as the ethical and trendy alternative to banking was a great route to publicity in the industry’s infancy, marketplace lending ought to be well enough established for platforms to sell themselves on their core lending business.

Ken Rees, CEO of Elevate, to Keynote at LEND360 Conference (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Ken Rees, Chief Executive Officer at Elevate, a leading tech-enabled provider of innovative and responsible online credit solutions for non-prime consumers, will keynote at the LEND360 conference on October 11, sharing his insights on innovation and the needs of non-prime Americans. Rees will highlight Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class, its mission, and the company’s commitment to innovating for their customers. His talk will shed light on the realities of being non-prime in America, and help audience members discover new ways to serve this group. Elevate is an online lender that has originated $4.5 billion in credit to more than 1.7 million non-prime consumers.

From Shopping to Close, LendingTree Study Finds Mortgage Process is Getting Faster (LendingTree), Rated: A

The mortgage process is speeding up. The study revealed that the median time from early rate shopping to closing on a purchase mortgage declined 7 days from 2016 to 2017.

From 2016 to 2017, LendingTree has seen a 19% increase in the number of loans closed within 30 days and a 27% increase in loans closed in 60 days.

LendingTree, Inc. to Report Third Quarter 2017 Earnings on October 26, 2017 (Business Insider), Rated: B

LendingTree, Inc. (NASDAQ: TREE), operator of LendingTree.com, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today announced that it will release its fiscal third quarter 2017 results on Thursday, October 26, 2017, and the company will hold a conference call at 9:00am ET.

Conference call
Toll free #:  877-606-1416
707-287-9313 outside the United States/Canada

To listen to a replay of the call 
Toll free #: 855-859-2056
404-537-3406 outside the United States/Canada
Replay Passcode: 98763739

Closer Look at Credit Enhancements in Subprime Auto ABS Market Show Signs of Vulnerability (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Davis & Gilbert partner Joseph Cioffi, a widely-respected authority on loan and securitization markets, has found that credit enhancements supporting subprime auto asset-backed securities (ABS) do not necessarily provide the same level of protection as credit enhancements supporting pre-financial crisis era subprime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), leaving them more vulnerable to market shifts and shocks than many realize.

These observations were made on a newly launched blog, the Credit Chronometer, in which Mr. Cioffi and team will be analyzing economic, market and political events that shape the legal landscape, and impact loan and structured credit markets, including those for auto loans, marketplace lending (peer-to-peer), student loans, mortgage loans and Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing.

Based on the indicators of crisis that foretold the subprime mortgage crisis – within the areas of lending practices, ABS practices and the underlying market for autos – the Credit Chronometer presents the “Subprime Auto Loan Crisis Chronometer” to depict the risk of a crisis, which Mr. Cioffi defines as a “battle over loss allocation.” As events impact the subprime auto market, the Subprime Auto Loan Crisis Chronometer’s bright yellow gauges will show the current level of risk. As of today, the Subprime Auto Loan Crisis Chronometer is set at:

  • Lending practices: Moderate-High
  • ABS Practices: Moderate
  • Auto Market: High
  • Risk of Loss Allocation Battles: Moderate

Austin credit union launches fintech-backed loan to up digital game (American Banker), Rated: A

The $125 million-asset Capitol Credit Union became the first financial institution last month to offer customers the product, Kasasa Loans.

Lending company has Rx for doctors with student loans (Cleveland Jewish News), Rated: A

Splash Financial in Cleveland has focused on relieving the burden of student debt since the company was founded in 2013. But according to founder and CEO Steven Muszynski, it wasn’t until recently the company turned its sights to the medical community.

“We’re an online lender that helps doctors refinance their student loans,” he said. “The majority of people financing their student loans graduate with an average of $200,000 in debt. We’re the only company in the country that allows lenders to pay only $1 a month for trainees.”

Congress Should Roll Back New Payday Loan Rule (Competitive Enterprise Institute), Rate: A

The hysteria in Washington around the release of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s final short-term, small-dollar loan rule has been immense as of late. With the final rule issued late last week, it largely lived up to the hype.

The content of a federal rulemaking, while devastating for the payday loan industry, wasn’t all that was at stake. The CFPB’s Director Richard Cordray has long been expected to run for Governor of Ohio once the rule was finalized. With reports flowing in that Cordray plans to make the announcement any day now, the speculation is well-founded.

But the crux of the final rule remains the same. It will force lenders to conduct an “ability to repay” assessment of customers to ensure that borrowers can repay the loans and fees within two weeks, it will cap the amount of times a customer can roll over a loan at three, and it will prevent lenders from charging a customer’s checking account after two unsuccessful attempts.

This makes the impact of the rule devastating. The CFPB’s own impact analysis found that the rule would reduce industry revenue by approximately 75 percent. This is in essence a death warrant to at least three-quarters of the 20,000 payday loan shops that service some 12 million Americans annually.

There are multiple surveys confirming that the users of payday loans widely approve of the option.

Republicans should waste no time in using the Congressional Review Act to overturn this devastating regulation.

Payday lending rule may lure in lurking loan sharks (The Hill), Rated: A

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published its final rule addressing so-called payday loans as well as certain other extensions of credit to consumers on Thursday. These loans are usually small, very short-term (often just a few weeks) and carry a very high effective interest rate after all fees are taken into account.

The rule applies to three types of “covered short-term loans:”

  • Short-term loans maturing in 45 days or less
  • Longer-term (more than 45 days) balloon-payment loans; that is, the loan is paid in full when it comes due or the loan agreement requires at least one substantial down payment of the loan.
  • Longer-term loans with a cost of credit exceeding 36 percent that either have a balloon-payment feature or the lender is authorized to obtain repayment by initiating a transfer of funds from the borrower’s bank account.

3 ways the new rules curtailing payday loans will help consumers (WPXI), Rated: A

Of course, everyone is not happy about the changes, which won’t take effect until July 2019.

Here are three ways the new payday lending rules will help consumers

  1. Prevent overborrowing: Once a consumer has borrowed three times in a 30-day period, a mandatory 30-day “cooling off period” kicks in. During this time, the consumer won’t be allowed to borrow unless at least a third of the previous outstanding loan has been satisfied.
  2. Mandate income verification: Believe it or not, many payday lenders don’t check to see what a borrower’s monthly income is — they don’t have an incentive to. If you don’t pay up, your collateral — in many cases, your car — will become theirs. With the new rules, lenders must verify the consumer’s net monthly income and the amount of payments required for the consumer’s debt to be paid.
  3. Control payment withdrawals: Gone will be the days when a lender can continue to hit up your zero-balance account, triggering those insufficient funds charges. The new rules state that lenders must provide a written notice before a first attempt to withdraw payments for a loan from a consumer’s account. When two consecutive withdrawal attempts fail, the lender must get permission again from the borrower to attempt another withdrawal from the same account.

Ohio must reform payday lending (Record-Courier), Rated: B

Lenders avoided the law’s 28 percent interest rate cap by registering as mortgage lenders or credit-service organizations. That has allowed them to charge an average 591 percent annual interest rate on the short-term loans, watchdogs contend.

According to Pew Charitable Trust, Ohioans who borrow $300 from a payday lender are charged, on average, $680 in interest and fees over a five-month period — the typical payoff for what is supposed to be a two-week loan.

A bill awaiting action in the Ohio House would allow lenders to charge interest rates up to 28 percent plus a monthly 5 percent fee on the first $400 loaned — a $20 maximum rate.

OCC Gives Deposit Advance Programs New Life (PYMNTS), Rated: A

By the CFPB’s own estimates, the regulations will reduce the number of short-term loans in the U.S. by more than half.

Industry estimates project a drop in loan volume that will close the doors of more than 80 percent of short-term lenders in the U.S., most of which are smaller “mom and pop” operations.

A Brief History of Small Banks, DAPs, the CFPB and the OCC

Until around 2013, DAPs were offered as a mainstream banking competitor to payday loans. Their main competitive advantage was twofold: They were faster, and one’s bank could instantly verify those direct deposits. But in 2013, the CFPB released a whitepaper that said DAP loans were so similar to their payday cousins as to have all of the flaws normally associated with such lending products.

The CFPB Has a Change of Heart about DAP

A funny thing happened to the CFPB on its way to publishing those draft regulations on short-term lending: It seems to have had a change of heart about bank-based, short-term lending. In fact, when announcing the short-term lending rules, CFPB executive director Richard Cordray called out a special carve-out for community banks and credit unions, provided they make fewer than 2,500 short-term loans each year and collectively account for less than 10 percent of total lending revenue.

Follow the bouncing regs. The new CFPB rules, released last week, have a carve-out for small banks to pick up some of the short-term lending needs of consumers.

Atty Eyed For Payday Loan Fraud Says Tribe Strategy Is Legit (Law360), Rated: A

An attorney defending himself against charges he helped operate a $2 billion criminal payday-loan empire told a Manhattan federal jury Tuesday that he viewed tribal involvement in the enterprise as a legitimate legal shield and asserted that he had “panicked” when he faked a signature on a legal document.

5 Rules Digital Marketers at J&J, SoFi, J.P. Morgan, and IBM Swear By (Fortune), Rated: A

In May, when an Australian real estate mogul suggested posited the somewhat insulting theory that millennials aren’t able to buy homes because they’re spending too much on discretionary items like avocado toast, SoFi COO Joanne Bradford tapped into that controversy as a way to connect with the company’s millennial customer base: the online lender offered a month of free avocado toast to everyone who got a mortgage through the company. More than a hundred a media outlets jumped on the story and SoFi had three of its greatest months ever.

RealtyShares Wins LendingTree Fintech Innovation Challenge, $ 10K At Benzinga Fintech Summit (Benzinga), Rated: B

RealtyShares, the real estate marketplace that’s funded more than $500 million in developments, took home the Fintech Innovation Challenge presented by Lendingtree Inc TREE 0.04% at the Benzinga Fintech Summit.

CleanCapital Expands Team with Former Managing Director of Global Environmental Fund (Fox 8 Live), Rated: B

CleanCapital announced that Matt Eastwick has joined the company to structure and execute capital markets transactions. As Head of Capital Markets, Eastwick will bring an innovative approach to securing the optimal structures and investors for CleanCapital’s various and growing capital needs. Eastwick’s hire comes after a successful Series A equity raise this past summer, as CleanCapital continues to scale operations, while expanding opportunities for clean energy investing.

Chicago Mayor Cuts Ribbon at New Headquarters of Rising FinTech Firm OppLoans (PR Newswire), Rated: B

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel cut the ribbon at the new OppLoansheadquarters in downtown Chicago this week. OppLoans, the nation’s leading socially responsible online lender, has more than tripled its employee-count in the past two years and expanded their operations in One Prudential Plaza. In 2017, the firm was named the 14th fastest-growing company in Illinois and the 219th nationally.

Real Estate Provides Opportunities for Retirees Looking to Protect and Grow Their Nest Egg (Equities.com), Rated: B

A growing number of investors are starting to take a closer look at the real estate market as a practical way to help fund their retirement. These retirees are getting into real estate investing through real estate crowdfunding platforms that allow them to pool their money for real-life real estate investments.

Last year, real estate crowdfunding sites topped the $3 billion mark and crowdfunding overall is expected to grow into a $300 billion industry in less than a decade. Fewer than 10% of Americans are accredited investors yet make up 70% of the wealthiest individuals in the U.S. Many retirees qualify as accredited, and we can expect many more crowdfunding sites to embrace the average individual investor by lowering the barrier to entry.

United Kingdom

Zopa is ‘pretty close to finishing’ building its new bank (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Online lender Zopa is close to finishing building the tech it needs to launch a full bank, according to its CEO.

Janardana said he couldn’t comment on Zopa’s progress in getting fully regulated as a bank but said the shortest time it has taken a new bank to be regulated is around two years, suggesting Zopa is still a way off from launch.

‘We’re in close communication with Monzo, Starling, Tandem’

Janardana, who was speaking to BI at LendIt Europe conference in London, said Zopa is working closely with other startup banks in Britain.

During his presentation at LendIt Europe, Janardana said Zopa’s new bank initially plans to launch savings and credit cards. He said the bank will take a customer-focused approach, shunning 0% balance transfers on credit cards in favour of consistent low rates and rejecting teaser rates on savings accounts.

Open banking is an “exciting opportunity” for alternative lenders (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

ZOPA’S chief product officer Andrew Lawson has heralded the move towards open banking as “a really exciting opportunity” that could potentially broaden the peer-to-peer lender’s product offering.

Late last year, Zopa unveiled plans to launch a digital bank that would sit alongside its P2P operations. Lawson re-affirmed that this would enable Zopa to service a wider set of customers with a wider set of products. Revolving credit, credit cards and longer mortgages would not be possible with P2P, he argued.

Zopa CEO: banking must no longer be a “zero-sum game” (AltFi), Rated: A

Speaking at the LendIt Europe conference this morning, Zopa CEO Jaidev Janardana (pictured) issued a stinging critique of the traditional banking model, which he says is set up to “take advantage of customer inertia”. He went further, describing old school banking as a zero-sum game, in which wins for the bank will always be to the detriment of customers, and vice versa.

Mintos marketplace exceeds 35 000 investors (LendIt), Rated: AAA

Mintos marketplace for loans has reached a new milestone – 35 000 registered investors from 64 countries.

About 2 000 new investors join Mintos each month. This has allowed for loans worth more than EUR 325 million to be funded through Mintos in two years since its establishment. More than EUR 200 million has been funded in 2017 alone, making Mints a clear market leader in continental Europe with a 40% market share, according to AltFi Data.

As of September 2017, about EUR 1 million is invested in loans through Mintos daily, which is three times more than just a year ago.

On the supply side of the marketplace, there are 27 loan originators from 13 countries.

Oakam Accelerates Financial Inclusion in the UK with Alternative Data (LendIt), Rated: A

Digital micro-lender, Oakam has provided over 420,000 loans totalling over £320 million to consumers overlooked by mainstream financial institutions since 2006. Alternative data is enabling Oakam to employ new methods in underwriting and risk management to expand credit access for financially excluded consumers in the U.K., while maintaining robust lending standards.

Data from FICO shows that 60-75% of traditionally un-scorable consumers could be assigned a more meaningful credit score using alternative data. For Oakam, supplementing traditional methods of underwriting, such as the analysis of credit bureau data with alternative approaches has enabled Oakam to evaluate a high volume of applications since inception.

Oakam’s use of alternative data has also yielded positive repayment behaviour among customers. 70% of new customers made on-time repayments, despite previous challenges accessing credit due to their income levels; court judgements on prior loan defaults; status as a new resident of the UK; the absence of credit history or low credit scores; or some combination thereof. This is according to a study of 15,000 first-time Oakam customers between January 2015 and July 2016.

Oakam uses the following alternative sources for its underwriting:

  • Network associations: Similar to the use of relationship mapping on LinkedIn, Oakam assesses the connections between borrowers and applicants, based on social network data, geographic proximity, and referrals to study patterns that detect fraud or surface certain risk attributes. Data from Oakam showed that customers who were referred by other customers were 20% less likely to default than customers outside of any network.
  • Reaction data from nudges: In addition to predicting risk, Oakam uses gamification to influence it. Through its gamified mobile app, customers are financially incentivised to repay their loans. Oakam has seen a 25% improvement in on-time repayment since April 2017 as a result. Gamification also provides access to behavioural data to strengthen Oakam’s future underwriting decisions.
  • Unstructured data from online conversations: Oakam uses natural language processing and machine learning to analyse the conversations between potential customers and Oakam Digital Agents via its website, and to detect default risk or fraudulent intent.

Is RBS’s online lender a “massive corporate fudge”? (AltFi), Rated: A

Funding Circle boss takes shot at RBS’s online lending pilot Esme.

Esme, RBS’s online lending pilot for small businesses, went live in February of this year. 30-year RBS veteran Richard Kerton leads the project. This morning, he told the LendIt audience that Esme could approve and fund business loans in as little as 25 minutes, with broader risk parameters than its parent bank.

Desai dismissed the idea that P2P lenders are overly-reliant on brokers as a “myth”, pointing out that 75 per cent of Funding Circle’s borrowers come directly to the platform, and highlighting the simplicity of the platform as a big part of the reason.

You can soon buy and store bitcoin directly with this British “neobank” (Quartz), Rated: A

A British “neobank” called Revolut is working on letting its customers convert and hold bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies directly in their accounts.

The firm will let users buy, sell, and hold three cryptocurrencies: bitcoin, litecoin, and ethereum. Users will also be able to transfer cryptocurrencies to other Revolut account holders. The big thing here is Revolut’s promise to allow “instant” conversion of fiat money to cryptocurrencies within its app, potentially removing the currently troublesome process of signing up on crypto exchanges, or peer-to-peer platforms, or going to a bitcoin ATM, to acquire or dispose of funds.

China

JD Finance Launched Bank Deposit Product, with Yield Rate up to 5% (Xing Ping She), Rated: AAA

JD Finance, a third-party finance platform in China, recently launched several BaoShang Bank deposit products. The one-year yield of the product is as high as 5%, rising by as much as 230% compared with the benchmark interest rate for Banks.

The product description shows that the maturity of this series including 1 year, 6 months and 3 months, correspond the savings deposit rate of 5 %, 3.5% and 3.3%, and the minimum deposit amount of 50000, 100 and 100 RMB. In terms of security, as deposits, the product series guaranteed income. As for liquidity, it can be taken at any time. In procedures, it can be purchased directly without evaluation.

A number of bank retails said that the deposits on individuals always have been conducted through their own channels, and they have never take deposits through a third party platform. It also reflects that the competition of bank deposit market becomes more and more fierce.

However, JD Finance explained that they just play the role of information display platform for the bank deposit product, rather than commission sale. Both product and service are supplied by the bank itself.

Zhongan Insurance Shares Ride the Roller Coaster (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

Zhongan Insurance (06060.HK) has been known as The First Stock in Fintech. After three days of rising in a row, its stock price hit a new high of HK $97.8 and closed at HK $90.8 on October 9th. So far, the market value of Zhongan Insurance reached to HK $130.7 billion.

WIND data shows that the stock has risen 52.09% in six trading days since listed, with a turnover rate of 59. 62%, and the interval volume is 2.62 billion shares, the transaction amount reached to 20 billion RMB.

“Now there is no other pure insurance technology company in Hong Kong stock market. The listing of Zhongan Insurance brings the opportunity for investors to participate in the field of insurance technology. In addition to foreign investment in the stock, mainland funds are also very fond of the unit”, a Hong Kong investment analyst said.

CreditEase Hosted FinTech Themed 2017 Silicon Valley – Beijing Dialogue Conference in San Francisco (Business Insider), Rated: A

CreditEase, a Beijing-based financial technology conglomerate with a robust online platform and a broad offline network, announced it recently hosted a FinTech conference, “2017 Silicon Valley – Beijing Dialogue” themed “The Power of Innovation: Driving Forces behind the FinTech Age 3.0″, in San Francisco.

Hong Kong needs to unlock the potential of the sharing economy, or risk falling behind (SCMP), Rated: B

The city’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index has fallen in the last two years. And this slide has been accompanied by another trend: the rise of China in the table.

With more than 600 million people in China participating in the sharing economy, it’s expected that it will account for 10 per cent of China’s gross domestic product by 2020, according to their State Information Centre.

European Union

CREDITSHELF ANNOUNCES RESULTS OF NEW SME-STUDY AT LENDIT EUROPE 2017 CONFERENCE (LendIt), Rated: A

today at the Lendit Europe gathering of over 1,000 fintech and lending executives in London, creditshelf announced that, according to the study “Industrial SMEs and Financing 4.0”, nine out of ten medium-sized industrial enterprises in Germany would provide lenders with real-time production data to either convince them of the value of making an investment, or to enable them – during the credit term – to check on the performance of a facility already arranged.

European marketplace lenders tap private ABS market (Global Capital), Rated: A

Panellists at LendIt Europe on Monday said that there may be more to Europe’s marketplace loan ABS market than meets the eye, with a number of platforms issuing deals under the radar.

Citi’s Sebastian Walf said that the two public ABS deals, which were sold last year from Funding Circle and Zopa, were just the “tip of the iceberg”, with a number of other online lending platforms issuing private securitizations to meet their funding needs.

Trustly partners with Emric, part of Tieto (Trustly), Rated: B

Trustly, the European payments company, and Nordic software provider Emric, part of Tieto, are delighted to announce a new strategic partnership which will provide Emric’s business customers access to Trustly’s online banking payments technology across Europe.

International

Crowdvouching service Suretly, raised .8 mln in August, is launching beta version in 6 weeks (LendIt), Rated: A

During the ICO last month, Suretly secured its minimum funding requirements in just a few hours. It raised $2.8m. Before the ICO, the first version of the Suretly app was successfully tested. A beta version of it will be released on the market within several weeks from the ICO. Upon release of the app, the system will already be populated with borrowers.

Suretly is an international project. The company has legally set up in the following initial countries: Russia, Kazakhstan, and the USA.

CFTE Launches Online Fintech Foundation Course in Collaboration with 20 CEOs and Senior Leaders (PR Newswire), Rated: A

CFTE is pleased to announce the worldwide release of Around Fintech in 8 Hours. The Fintech foundation course has been designed to give professionals working in the finance industry a solid understanding of how technology is redefining the provision of financial services.

4 senior lecturers and 16 industry experts who are Fintech CEOs, investors and heads of innovation will provide participants with a 360 perspective on Fintech disruption.

16 guest experts such as Rob Frohwein, CEO of Kabbage and Anne Boden, CEO of Starling Bank, will support the lecturers by providing first hand insights into how the structure of the FS industry is being transformed by technology and what this means for professionals.

The Centre for Finance, Technology & Entrepreneurship Preps Online Fintech Course (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE) is launching their first online Fintech course which will open to the public soon. If you are interested, you may enroll here. The course is described as “Around Fintech in Eight Hours.”

The CFTE has partnered with several accelerators including the Supercharger Fintech Accelerator and LATTIC80. Both are based in Asia (Hong Kong & Singapore) with the CFTE operating out of London.

India sets sights on UAE’s technology sector (AMEinfo), Rated: A

A statement released by ESC says that it is participating at GITEX 2017 to provide Indian IT companies opportunities to exploit the burgeoning Middle East ICT market.  It is the largest participation by India, under the Council’s banner.

Meanwhile ESC Chairman Prasad Garapathi said that Indian IT exporters will continue to look into the whole Middle East and MENA region through this important gateway of Dubai.

Export of software and related services to the Middle East has reached $2bn in 2016-17 while India’s total export of electronics hardware during 2016-17 is estimated at $5.685bn.

The Middle East nation is keen to elevate disruptive Indian fintech startups by providing them an international platform and financial support.

The two sides also signed 14 agreements whereby the UAE vowed it would invest $75 billion in India.

The two countries also set a target of 60 percent increase in bilateral trade in the next five years.

Australia/New Zealand

SocietyOne Achieves $ 350 Million in Total Loan Originations (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Australia-based online lender SocietyOne announced on Tuesday it has secured $350 million in total originations. This news comes less than two months after the lending platform celebrated its fifth birthday. According to SocietyOne, the company topping $350 million as the current loan book also reached $200 million for the first time in the lender’s history.

10 Fast Growing Fintechs in Australia and New Zealand (Fintech News), Rated: A

Pay Later, better known as Afterpay, is an easy-to-use payment process allows shoppers to buy their product today and pay it off in 4 equal fortnightly instalments.

Airwallex was founded in 2015 by a team of entrepreneurs who developed a technology that uses machine learning to determine the most cost-effective way of settling every payment that comes through the platform.

CoinJar provides simple tools to manage digital currencies.

Data Republic was founded to empower the liquidity of data by delivering technology which offers best-practice security, privacy compliance and governance controls for organizations looking to safely exchange data.

Harmoney is NZ’s leading peer-to-peer money marketplace – where everyday people borrow money from (and lend money to) other everyday people. Hence the term ‘peer’ to ‘peer.’

HashChing is Australia’s first online marketplace allowing consumers to access great home loan deals without having to shop around.

identitii allows banks to move away from customer level information to detailed information about each and every transaction.

Prospa is Australia’s online small business lender committed to helping small businesses access the funds they need to grow.

SocietyOne is radically changing the landscape of financial services in Australia. Since our foundation almost five years ago, we have gone from a standing start to providing more than $300 million in loans to customers.

Xero is one of the fastest growing software as a service companies globally.

BOQ still worst for home loan disputes (The Australian), Rated: A

Bank of Queensland has topped the list as Australia’s worst ­offender for disputes with home loan customers, according to the financial ombudsman.

It is the fourth year in a row the bank has headed the list, with the number of disputes per 100,000 customers barely improving in the past two years, although the numbers have trended downward since 2014.

For every 100,000 home loan customers, BoQ was involved in 79 disputes during the year. Of those, 40 per cent were resolved by agreement, with 29 per cent in BoQ’s favour, according to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Home loans accounted for 10 per cent of all disputes FOS accepted in the year, while credit cards accounted for 14 per cent and personal loans 8 per cent.

India

Crisil withdraws proposal to enter peer-to-peer lending business (Business Standard), Rated: AAA

Ratings agency has withdrawn proposal to enter into peer-to-peer lending platform business while the has approved Rs 85.45 crore foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals in September from four companies, the Ministry said on Tuesday.

Crisil’s majority shareholder is international ratings agency Standard and Poor’s, an American corporation.

P2P players seek RBI clarification on permissibility of institutional lenders (Financial Express), Rated: A

After the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released guidelines for entities engaged in peer-to-peer (P2P) lending last week, an association of such entities is planning to ask the central bank to clarify whether institutions will be allowed to lend through P2P platforms.

A top executive with one of the five P2P lending platforms told FE that the industry is unsure of whether ‘participant’ covers only individuals or institutions as well.

10 Fast Growing Fintechs in India (Fintech News), Rated: A

BankBazaar is the world’s first neutral online marketplace that helps people compare and choose financial products such as loans, insurance, credit cards, fixed deposits, saving accounts, mutual funds etc., – over a highly secure, user friendly, and intuitive platform.

Capital Float is an online platform that provides working capital finance to SMEs in India.

FreeCharge is India’s No.1 payments app.

Lendingkart Technologies Private Limited is a fin-tech startup in the working capital space.

MobiKwik is India’s largest independent mobile payments network connecting 55 million users with more than 1,500,000 retailers.

Mswipe is India’s largest independent mobile POS merchant acquirer & network provider.

Paytm is India’s largest mobile payments and commerce platform.

Policybazaar is an Indian online life insurance and general insurance comparison portal.

Razorpay aims to revolutionize online payments by providing clean, developer-friendly APIs and hassle-free integration.

Rubique (Rubik + Unique) aims to mine every possibilty to offer a unique solution to our customers’ complex financing problems through advanced technologies and data science.

India Money Mart launches P2P lending platform (India Times), Rated: B

India Money Mart (IMM), a digital lending marketplace, has launched its app to allow lenders and borrowers to carry out Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending a week after the RBI released detailed guidelines for this platform.

The app is useful for people seeking alternative sources of funding to meet emergency requirements, not serviced by banks and other traditional lenders, it said.

Asia

Mongolia’s Untapped Lending Market Has Earned This Japanese-Backed Fintech Startup A $ 30M Valuation (Forbes), Rated: AAA

In Mongolia, where the average monthly income is $390, informal loans between friends or family members are commonplace as credit and small bank loans are hard to get. On the other hand, small informal loans are almost expected to not be paid back.

“There is no leverage system for people to repay, so in the worst case they lose their friends,” says Anar Chinbaatar, 35, CEO of fintech startup AND Global.

His startup, which launched the mobile app LendMN, introduced mobile-based microlending to the North Asian country where borrowers are blacklisted from significant financial services such as mortgages if they default on a small loan from the bank.

After raising $1 million in seed funding in April 2016, the company received another $4 million with a $30.8 million valuation in August from influential backers in Mongolia and Japan including former Japanese parliament member Takami Yuichi, investor Satoshi Matsumoto and his wife Yasuyo Matsumoto. It is also advised by Oko Davaasuren, an influential Mongolian investor from TechStars.

The company, which has issued over $1.9 million in loans as of this month, plans to use the new investment to fuel expansion into the Philippines and Japan and develop new technology such as a blockchain project while preparing for an initial coin offering in December.

Crowdfunding Creates New Opportunities In Malaysia (TMF Group), Rated: A

Malaysia was the first country to regulate the growing industry to support new ideas by providing a funding mechanism. Its Securities Commission (SC) has approved a total of 12 crowdfunding platforms – six equity-based and six peer-to-peer (P2P) lending – and, though there are strict guidelines for operation, the market is creating new avenues for entrepreneurs.

Growing regulation of the crowdfunding industry is not putting off investors; Malaysia as a whole is one of the least complex jurisdictions in Asia, according to TMF Group’s inaugural Financial Complexity Index.

The ranking of 94 jurisdictions across the world resulted in three top-10 spots for Asia Pacific: Vietnam ranked 5th most complex for compliance, followed by China at 7 and India at 10.

But there was a large chunk of southeast Asia which ranked on the less complex side of the table, including Malaysia (59), the first country in Asia to regulate crowdfunding.

Africa

Inspeer Announces Crowd Sale for Its ‘Inspiration Through Peer to Peer’ Lending Service (Digital Journal), Rated: AAA

Inspeer, one of the few players to recognize the need for revolutionary technology in the financial services industry has opted to introduce additional utilities backed by cryptocurrencies and their underlying blockchain technology. The platform, designed to use cryptocurrency alongside fiat currency for the purpose of peer to peer lending has announced the launch of its upcoming crowdsale campaign.

With their primary operations located in Russia under the LightFin.ru brand, more than 200,000 loans applications were processed within the first year of platform deployment.

Inspeer’s platform uses loan pipelines and scoring algorithms which consist of the InsCore system and OLAF algorithms. Together, these two components help to effectively execute an assessment of the borrower’s likelihood of repayment as based on more than 20,000 predictors.

ICO will start on Nov. 6 and continue for Dec 6.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday October 10 2017, Daily News Digest

U.S. commercial banks

News Comments Today’s main news: Money360 closes more than $100M in Q3. Zopa unveils banking product offering. RateSetter to simplify withdrawal fees. First P2P exit guidelines issued in China. Moody’s upgrades 4Finance, lender tops 5B Euro in loans. SocietyOne sets lending growth record. Spotcap surpasses $180M in credit issued. Afluenta launches commercial loans platform. Today’s main analysis: Securitization market conditions remain strong. […]

U.S. commercial banks

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

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International

Australia

India

Asia

Latin America

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News Summary

United States

Money360 Closes More Than $ 100 Million in Loans in Third Quarter, On Track for Record-Breaking 2017 (Marketwired), Rated: AAA

Money360, a technology-enabled direct lender specializing in commercial real estate (CRE) loans, today announced it closed more than $100 million in loans in the third quarter of 2017. This brings the company’s total loan closings to over $450 million, with a target of $600 million in transactions by year-end.

Notable loans closed in the third quarter include:

  • A $15 million bridge loan for a six-story, 310-room hotel property in Bloomingdale, Illinois.
  • A $12.5 million bridge loan for a hospitality property in Burr Ridge, Illinois.
  • A $9.9 million bridge loan for a three-story, multi-tenant office property in Fresno, California.
  • A $7.6 million bridge loan for a multi-family property in Bemidji, Minnesota.
  • A $6.9 million bridge loan for an office property in Denver, Colorado.
  • A $4.4 million permanent loan for a retail property in Mount Olive, New Jersey.
  • A $1.2 million bridge loan for a two-story apartment building in Miami, Florida.

Amazon Could Be Your Lender, Too (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Amazon.com Inc. has profoundly changed the way clothes and books are sold and is now targeting food shopping. Its next project may very well be taking on the heart of Wall Street.

The technology giant has had several conversations with banking regulators over the past two years on a wide range of topics, including “financial innovation,” according to lobbying disclosures reviewed by American Banker. It already has a lending operation that it started in 2011 to support merchants that sell on its marketplace. This unit has grown increasingly popular, to the point where it originated $1 billion in loans over 12 months.

Source: Bloomberg

“Amazon has very broad ambitions,” said Ram Ahluwalia, founder of PeerIQ, a startup that tracks loans originated on online systems. He attended the online lending meeting last month and noted that many people were talking about big technology firms plowing more into financial services, including regulators.

Amazon is not alone. Others, such as PayPal and Google, have also entertained banking ideas. In fact, they’ve joined forces, creating a lobbying group called “Financial Innovation” together, according to American Banker.

PeerIQ Securitization Update: Market Conditions are Strong (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Below are some of the highlights of the Marketplace Lending Securitization Tracker for Q3:

  • This quarter saw six marketplace lending securitizations with quarterly issuance of $2.6 Bn, representing 7.6% growth in issuance over 3Q 2016. To date, cumulative issuance equals $23.8Bn across 96 deals.
  • Lending Club (NYSE:LC) issued its first deal with prime loans with borrowers having FICO scores of at least 660. The weighted average FICO score on this deal is 692, which is a shift in borrower profile as MPL lenders seek out higher quality borrowers.
  • All deals this quarter were rated.  DBRS continues to lead the rating agency league table, while Kroll dominates the unsecured consumer sub-segment. We see continued engagement from the top 3 ratings agencies like Fitch, with their rating of PMIT 2017-2A. Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and Morgan Stanley continue to top the issuance league tables with over 49% of MPL ABS transaction volume. College Avenue, a nascent MPL student loan originator, issued its first securitization CASL 2017 -A, managed by Barclays.
  • Spreads at issuance are marginally tighter in the consumer space on higher rated tranches. As priced 14bps tighter on average, while Bs and Cs priced 1-2bps wider. In the student space, As priced 51bps wider, while Bs and Cs priced 46bps and 61bps wider respectively.
  • Credit support requirements remain stable as rating agencies get more comfortable with collateral performance. We see deterioration in credit performance, but investors are well protected due to structural features and senior tranches deleverage rapidly to gain greater protection. Demand remains robust in this sector.
  • Goldman Sachs purchased $300Mn of solar loans from Mosaic. It would be interesting to see if they would participate in future Mosaic securitizations, as they have in the Marlette transactions.
    3Q17 saw a benign macro environment and low volatility. The Fed announced the beginning of its balance sheet reduction program to start in October, and prepared the market for an interest rate hike at the December meeting.
Source: PeerIQ

Download the PeerIQ Marketplace Lending Securitization Tracker Q3 here.

Equifax, TransUnion, Experian have spent decades avoiding transparency, regulation (Cleveland.com), Rated: AAA

For decades, the three major credit bureaus, along with a smaller fourth player, Innovis, have operated in the shadows of Americans’ finances.

Here’s a quick look at a timeline:

1960s: TransUnion’s original business was not compiling credit data on consumers. It bought a data collector, Credit Bureau of Cook County in 1969.

1970: Congress passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act, aimed at regulating the reporting of credit information.

Around 1970: TransUnion started using automatic tape-to-disc transfer to compile data, which was a lot faster than entering data manually. TransUnion later was the first bureau to offer banks, credit card companies and other creditors online access to data.

1988: TransUnion gains a nationwide presence. Credit reporting takes off.

1989: FICO scores as we know them were introduced.

March 2000: FICO creator Fair Isaac Corp. took legal action against an online lender, E-Loan, after E-Loan provided loan applicants with their credit scores.

September 2000: It wasn’t until this time that consumers could pay about $8 to the credit bureaus to get their own FICO credit scores, which had a top score of 850.

2003: Congress amended federal law to require the credit bureaus to give consumers a copy of their credit reports at no cost once a year.

2006: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian formed a joint venture to introduce Vantage scores, which were quite different than FICO scores.

2013: Discover, First National Bank of Omaha and a couple of other major issuers became trendsetters by providing credit card customers with their FICO credit score every month as part of their statement.

2014: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a financial regulator, said it fielded 31,000 consumer complaints in 16 months. About 75 percent of the complaints concerned information in credit files that consumers said was inaccurate.

Jan. 2017: The CFPB said Equifax and TransUnion lied to consumers about the credit scores they were being sold, and ordered Equifax and TransUnion to pay $17.6 million in restitution to consumers and imposed fines of $5.5 million.

March 2017: Experian joined its counterparts and got busted by the CFPB for lying about the credit scores it peddles to consumers.

Sept. 2017: Equifax makes a bombshell disclosure that a cyber thief stole personal information, including Social Security numbers and birth dates, for 145 million people. It’s by far the biggest data breach in U.S. history.

New AutoInvest Feature Enhances Patch of Land Real Estate Investing Platform (Patch of Land), Rated: A

We’ve rolled out an automatic investment tool, AutoInvest, to help our investors more easily access investment opportunities that meet pre-selected investing criteria.

We think you’ll see several nice benefits from Patch of Land’s new AutoInvest feature:

  • Automatically participate in first-lien real estate loans based on pre-selected investing criteria
  • A new lower minimum investment amount ($1,000 per opportunity) versus the $5,000 minimum for manual investing, to help facilitate better portfolio diversification
  • Priority access to opportunities before they are publicly available on Patch of Land’s platform

RealtyShares Finances Several Texas Commercial Properties (BusinessWire), Rated: A

RealtyShares, a leading online marketplace for real estate investing, has deployed more than $10.1 million for a pair of commercial real estate transactions in Texas, collaborating with two different sponsors to provide fast and flexible financing for their projects.

RealtyShares secured a $2.4 million equity investment for a 302-room, full-service Sheraton hotel in Irving, Texas.

The hospitality equity transaction was sponsored by The Buccini/Pollin Group, a real estate acquisition, development and management company with four offices across the U.S. and more than $1 billion under management. Along with its hotel management affiliate, PM Hotel Group, Buccini/Pollin has acquired and developed 40 hotel properties, and possesses experience managing all aspects of project acquisition, finance, development, construction, leasing, operations and dispositions.

Global Debt Registry Raises the Bar on Lending Ecosystem Information Security (AltFi), Rated: A

Global Debt Registry (GDR), the asset certainty company known for its loan validation expertise, today announced the successful completion of its Service Organization Control [SOC] 1 Type II and SOC 2 Type II attestation reports. Performed by KirkpatrickPrice, the independent audit confirms GDR’s internal security controls meet the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) applicable Trust Services Principles and Criteria. These latest verifications reaffirm GDR’s position as a leader in the online lending space for security and operational integrity in providing asset certainty and validation through its suite of digital due diligence solutions.

The SOC 1 Type II audit assessed GDR’s consistent application of internal controls and processes to protect consumer data, maintain operational integrity and comply with industry regulations over a six-month period. The SOC 2 Type II review compared the strength of those internal policies and controls with the AICPA’s own Trust Services Principles of security, availability, confidentiality and processing integrity. The SOC 2 Type II attestation provides a comprehensive and integrated assessment of an organization’s data security and integrity control framework to industry stakeholders — and is missing from organizations which choose to obtain a SOC 1 Type II exclusively and point to their cloud provider’s or vendors’ SOC 2 Type II attestation reports.

What the CFPB’s New Payday Lending Rule Means for Consumers (ConsumerReports.org), Rated: A

The new regulation, announced this week, could significantly restrict lenders of short-term, very high-interest loans, known as payday loans. The practice has long been criticized by Consumers Union, the advocacy and mobilization division of Consumer Reports.

Consumers, in fact, may have better alternatives with community banks and credit unions. And experts say the CFPB’s new rule could pave the way for even more lending by these types of financial institutions.

The payday lending rule is set to take effect in July 2019, unless it is rolled back by Congress. The Congressional Review Act gives Congress 60 days from the time a new regulation is published in the Federal Register to rescind it.

Assuming the rule remains in effect, it’s unclear whether the bulk of the payday industry could adapt. Some payday lenders are changing their practices already, creating less risky, longer-term loans.

Regardless, two types of consumer lenders that are exempt from the CFPB rule—community banks and credit unions—could step into the breach to serve payday loan clients.

The nation’s nearly 6,000 community banks are another potential source for small loans. But community banks don’t actively market their small-dollar loans, explains Lilly Thomas, a senior vice president and senior regulatory counsel for Independent Community Bankers of America, based in Washington, D.C. Rather, they respond to inquiries by individual customers.

But, she added, the CFPB rule changes could change that.

CFPB Has Spoken: Payday Lending Regs Drop (PYMNTS), Rated: A

By the CFPB’s own estimates, the regulations as written will cut the number of short-term loans in the U.S. by more than half, and industry estimates put that figure closer to 80 percent. Other than perhaps the very largest players in the game, most loan lenders can’t soak that kind of volume loss, since payday lending (contrary to public opinion) is not a high-margin business to start with. The average storefront lender clears about $37,000 in profit – and under the new regulations, that annual profit would become a $28,000 loss, according to an economic study paid for by an industry trade association.

Payday Lending (And Its New Rules At A Glance)

Payday lending is a big segment in the U.S., as storefront short-term loan lenders outnumber McDonald’s locations, and collectively lend out about $46 billion per year in loans to about 12 million borrowers.

The typical payday lending customer, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts, is a white woman aged 25 to 44.

Roughly 22 percent of borrowers renewed their loans at least six times, leading to total fees that amounted to more than the size of the initial loan.

Payday lenders do in fact collect a lot of money in fees – about $7 billion as of last year. Default rates are estimated at 20 percent on the low end, while at a mainstream financial institution (FI), that rate is a lot closer to 3 percent on average.

OCC reacts to CFPB’s final payday loan rule by rescinding its deposit advance product guidance (Ballard Spahr), Rated: A

Hours after the CFPB released its final payday/auto title/high-rate installment loan rule on October 5, 2017, the OCC rescinded its guidance on deposit advance products.

How fintech will change bank M&A (Banking Exchange), Rated: A

Cannon, the firm’s global director of research and chief equity strategist, agreed. Today, KBW, traditionally focused on bank equities, also covers firms like PayPal, Square, and Green Dot. And a bit over a year ago, KBW, in cooperation with Nasdaq, launched the KBW Nasdaq Financial Technology Index, an eclectic mixture of 50 publicly traded fintech firms across multiple industry categories.

“We expect that bank M&A will shift over time to bank/fintech M&A with the largest banks looking to acquire successful fintech firms. This will be pushed by the limitations on bank acquisitions by the largest banks, and by the need of fintech firms to partner with banks to expand their operations. While regulators are looking at a new fintech bank charter, we expect that to be limited  in scope.”

Banking Exchange: What started you thinking about a bank/fintech M&A trend?

I’ve been puzzled by the lack of new start-ups since the financial crisis. Most of the discussion around this has concerned regulatory constraints. But as I dug into this, I began to think that maybe the historical entrepreneurship in finance—traditionally folks starting new banks to get their economy going—has shifted from the banking sector to Silicon Valley.

Banking Exchange: Do people just not want to invest in new bank charters anymore?

In the wake of the financial crisis, a lot of capital—such as from private equity firms—that might have gone into new charters went into recapitalizing existing banks. Postcrisis, there certainly was a regulatory element, insofar as increased regulation and FDIC’s reluctance to insure new banks. But while people talk about that, I haven’t heard about people applying for charters and getting turned down by FDIC.

Mid-sized banks are looking for creative ways to build loan books. They already have an advantage in lending to small- and mid-sized companies and in doing commercial real estate loans. But they’re starting to see those sources of assets ebb. And they, too, will be looking toward asset generation from electronic delivery through fintech-type operations.

Banking Exchange: There is also the opposite trend—some of the fintechs, such as Varo, SoFi, and Square are seeking bank or industrial bank charters. Do you see that gaining momentum?

A year or so ago, my son-in-law was refinancing his student loans. Now, remember that part of the key to SoFi’s initial, extremely rapid growth was this: They cherry pick the government program borrowers. They will give strong borrowers a 4% loan to replace the government’s 7% all day long.

Credit fintechs will wither, but small-business lending will prosper (American Banker), Rated: A

In the second half of 2016, the fintech-credit bubble began to show signs of losing air when investors and funders signaled declining confidence in fintechs by withdrawing their investments — triggering some fintech closures. In trying to scale up, some providers went outside their core markets and struggled as their credit models failed (e.g., CAN Capital). Some faltered in attempting to diversify into different loan types, while others — which are now retrenching (e.g., LendingClub) — struggled with costs far outrunning revenues.

The market is ripe for consolidation and beneficial partnerships. Indeed, the remainder of 2017 and 2018 will see more partnerships between the banks and fintechs for the following three reasons.

  1. The whole is greater than the parts
  2. Credit portfolios and models need adjustment
  3. Revenue and liquidity cushions are needed

Kabbage’s Kathryn Petralia on Improving SMB Lending (Business.com), Rated: A

The influx of technology into the alternative lending industry has drastically changed the way small businesses access financing. As the co-founder of the online alternative lending platform Kabbage, Kathryn Petralia has been helping to lead this change.

Q: What drew you to the alternative lending space? Why did you think the market would support a lender like Kabbage?

A: I’ve been in alternative lending since the late ’90s.

Q: When a space is so crowded, like yours, what can you do to differentiate yourself?

A: Additionally, we are the only lender to offer SMBs the option to apply, qualify and draw funds entirely through a mobile app. Our Kabbage card allows qualified customers to draw from their line of credit at checkout or any point of sale (POS).

Kabbage is also unique as we license our technology to global banks, providing them more reach and a better user experience to serve their small business customers in a meaningful, cost-effective way. We have bank partnerships with Santander, Scotiabank and ING.

Q: What makes alternative lending an attractive option for small businesses?

A: It’s much faster and easier than traditional processes, and the anonymity of an online application process takes some of the stress out of what is traditionally a very anxiety-ridden experience.

Women in Tech Week Launches in New York City (PR Newswire), Rated: A

CommonBond, a financial technology company that helps students, graduates and employees pay for higher education, today launches Women in Tech Week, which runs through October 15. Together with partners including Betterment, Birchbox, Duolingo and others, CommonBond spent the last several months creating Women in Tech Week to recognize the contributions of women in technology and support the next generation of women leaders.

Women in Tech Week consists of three components:

1. A whitepaper on what women want in the tech workplace: CommonBond commissioned a survey of over 600 women in tech to learn what companies can do to attract and retain women, as well as create environments where women can thrive. The research found women want to see their companies implement the following changes, in order:

  • More women in leadership roles.
  • Better long-term career planning processes.
  • Additional training and professional development opportunities.

2. A social media campaign to support the next generation of women in tech: CommonBond has partnered with Girls Who Code to help fund the next generation of women technologists. CommonBond will donate to Girls Who Code for each social media post that:

  • Answers the question “Why are you proud to be a woman in tech?” or “Why are you proud to support women in tech?”
  • Includes hashtag #2017WITW.

3. A female founders event to encourage and inspire women in tech: On Ada Lovelace Day, a holiday on October 10 that celebrates the achievements of women in STEM, the co-founders of companies such as The Muse, PolicyGenius and WayUp will share their stories with students and professionals pursuing technology careers at an event in New York City.

Highlights from the Most Powerful Women gala (American Banker), Rated: A

Mary Navarro of Huntington and Linda Verba of TD Bank accepted Lifetime Achievement awards, and both shared some of the most important lessons they learned along the way about team-building.

Ohio Loophole Could Hold Back New Payday Lending Rules (WOSU.org), Rated: A

New rules issued this past week by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are meant to rein in payday and auto title lenders. The rules require enhanced credit checks for some loans and cooling off periods after three loans in a row to a single borrower.

“In Ohio, payday and auto title lenders are not operating under the intended statute,” Horowitz says. “They’re using a loophole that lets them operate as loan brokers.”

A 2008 law capped yearly interest rates at 28 percent. But the Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the loophole used by lenders.

What Works Best Onboarding Clients In The Robo Age (Investors.com), Rated: A

Led by tech innovators like Betterment, SigFig and Wealthfront, the more than 200 current U.S. robo-advisors in existence collectively boast some $53 billion in assets under management, with global robo assets poised to surpass $2.2 trillion by 2020. With such explosive growth in this space, many traditional full-service financial advisors feel compelled to beat their drums louder, when meeting prospects and onboarding new clients.

Despite the robo phenomenon, studies show that most individuals still value human interaction over technology. According to a survey conducted by online student loan marketplace LendEDU, 46.41% of millennials are working with a financial advisor, while only 24.30% have used a robo-advisor.

Furthermore, of the three-quarters of millennials who have yet to take the robo plunge, 61.58% say they’re reluctant to do so because they’ve never heard of robo-advisors, suggesting that general awareness still has a way to go. Finally, 68.92% of those polled said they believe financial advisors are more likely to yield greater returns on their investments.

Startups say this fintech ‘lab’ is giving them needed access to Wall Street and regulators (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Another program that gets high marks from founders is the Financial Solutions Lab (FinLab), an offshoot of the Center for Financial Services Innovation, a 13-year-old nonprofit focused on serving unbanked and underbanked customers.

Broadly speaking, it’s a 2.5-year-old program that aims to find and nurture fintech startups that are helping Americans save, access credit and build assets, and it is itself fueled by a $30 million, five-year grant from JPMorgan.

Among those startups it has worked with so far is Propel, a startup that helps people who receive food stamps manage their benefits.

Another company that’s currently a part of the program is Dave, an app that alerts consumers ahead of an upcoming overdraft and can advance them money.

LendingTree Partners with Jornaya To Deliver Independent TCPA Compliance on Leads (PRWeb), Rated: A

Jornaya, the fast-growing consumer journey insights platform, today announced that LendingTree®, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, has integrated TCPA Guardian from Jornaya to manage compliance risk associated with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Jornaya’s TCPA Guardian integrated with LendingTree’s marketplace provides lenders with ability to validate that the consumer was shown necessary and approved disclosures, including monitoring the size, text, and overall visibility of the necessary TCPA disclosure. What’s more, the solution documents the proof of that consent, allowing both LendingTree and its lenders to deter and help defend the costly and rising number of TCPA complaints.

Will regtech kill bank jobs? (American Banker), Rated: A

Technology and regulation are intersecting in ways that create uncertainty in a number of areas, but for those who work in compliance, the big question is whether advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain will ultimately replace people.

When BBVA Compass recently began using robotic process automation to carry out specific pieces of compliance, such as retrieving statements, employees were worried.

Northeast Florida Real Estate Firm New Leaf Communities Offers Major Returns on New Deal Crowdsourced by RealtyeVest (PR.com), Rated: B

New Leaf Communities is seeking $4,500,000 in Preferred Equity. The sponsor is offering a 10% preferred return with 8% as a current pay and 2% accrued. RealtyeVest, who is exclusively housing the offer on their crowdfunding platform, will raise the capital in a series of Class A, B and C stocks of $1.5 million each.

It’s first come first serve as the tranches will close once the total for each is raised. Participants in the Class A tranche will receive an 80/20 waterfall participation after the 10% preferred return. The Class B tranche will receive a 70/30 waterfall participation after a 10% preferred return. Lastly, the Class C tranche will receive a 60/40 waterfall participation after a 10% preferred return.

New Payday Loan Regs: Pros and Cons (Investopedia), Rated: A

According to proponents, the new rules are a real positive for consumers. They see the following as pros.

  • Requiring lenders to ensure that borrowers can repay loans protects them from a cycle of debt.
  • While some lenders will be prohibited, consumers can still borrow from those that meet the new requirements.
  • Voters generally prefer stricter guidelines for payday lenders.
  • The new regulations will stop lenders from exploiting loopholes in the law.
  • Limiting the number of times a loan can be rolled over limits the effective APR.
  • Preventing multiple attempts to withdraw from bank accounts will stop excessive overdraft charges for consumers.

The payday lending industry, the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA), researchers at Pew Charitable Trusts, the banking industry and even some consumer advocates have pointed out what they see as the cons of these new rules.

  • The proposal exceeds the authority given CFPB by Congress and will be subject to expensive lawsuits.
  • The new rules still allow payday loans with interest rates of 300% or higher.
  • Banks and credit unions will be discouraged or prevented from entering the market with lower-cost loans.
  • Ultimately, the rules will inhibit consumer access to credit, driving them to far worse alternatives.
  • Many payday lenders will be forced out of business, costing jobs and creating credit “deserts” in areas where payday lending currently thrives.
  • Losing the ability to roll over loans will hurt consumers who need more time to pay off debt.

New Rule on Payday Loans to Hurt Industry, Help Banks (Newsmax), Rated: B

Revenues for the $6 billion payday loan industry will shrivel under a new U.S. rule restricting lenders’ ability to profit from high-interest, short-term loans, and much of the business could move to small banks, according to the country’s consumer financial watchdog.

Under the new rule, the industry’s revenue will plummet by two-thirds, the CFPB estimated.

Baptist advocates applaud rule to rein in abusive lending (Baptist Standard), Rated: B

A joint statement issued by the Texas Fair Lending Alliance and Texas Faith Leaders for Fair Lending noted from 2012 to 2016, Texans paid $7.5 billion in fees for high-cost loans.

Texas Appleseed, a public interest center based in Austin, noted for borrowers who do not refinance their loans, a typical $500 payday loan costs $1,351 in installments over five months.

How you can plan and enjoy vacation away from your business (NJBiz.com), Rated: B

According to a 2016 Funding Circle survey, about half of small business owners plan to take less than three days off during the entire holiday season; in fact, nearly 70 percent confess that they at least check emails on Thanksgiving Day, when most businesses nationally close.

United Kingdom

Zopa unveils banking product offering (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

Speaking at the LendIt conference in London, Jaidev Janardana (pictured), chief executive of Zopa, said banks have focused too much on products that help their business rather than the customer.

He revealed that Zopa Bank would offer unsecured personal loans with no early repayment charges and credit cards with no introductory offers but a flat rate as well as savings and investments that prioritise existing customers.

It will also offer auto-loans, allowing users to do a soft-search for products.

RateSetter to simplify early withdrawal fees (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA

The peer-to-peer platform will be changing the current two fees for early withdrawal to a single and clear transfer fee for each market.

The transfer fee will be fixed for each market and will be a percentage of the capital being withdrawn (the fee will apply only to capital requested to be withdrawn, not interest).

Source: Bridging&Commercial

Why an effective online checkout can be the key to great customer experience (ITProPortal), Rated: AAA

Speaking to ITProPortal, Luke Griffiths, MD of Klarna UK, noted that consumer flexibility in terms of payment methods is helping change merchant habits too.

Griffiths revealed that just shy of three million customers in the UK will have used Klarna’s services in some form, with the company counting the likes of the Arcadia Group and JD Sports as clients here.

This includes a “pay after delivery” option, which allows consumers to order their goods, receive them, but only pay after either 14 or 30 days if they are fully satisfied. Targeted mainly towards the fashion online retail space, Griffiths notes that this service has seen great pick-up from both merchants and customers, with the former seeing increased conversion and a drop in returns (as buyers become more confident that they will only pay for the goods they want to keep) and the latter getting a more successful online transaction and “turning the sitting room into the fitting room”.

P2P better placed to keep up with changing borrowers (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

FUNDING Circle co-founder Samir Desai (pictured) has ruled out launching a bank as he outlined the advantages of running a peer-to-peer platform over traditional financial models.

He said banks would find it hard to keep up with emerging technology such as artificial intelligence or machine learning due to the level of regulation.

Desai cast doubts on the ability of traditional banks to move into the online small and medium sized (SME) lending lending space, claiming Germany’s Commerzbank had seen loans underperform since entering this area.

£21.39 Million Raised on ArchOver in 2017 (So Far) (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer business lending platform ArchOver announced on Monday it has nearly doubled its overall lending in the first nine months of 2017. The company reported that since 2017 its total lending has reached £21.39 million, bringing its cumulative total that has been lent to date to over £48 million.

Ireland’s P2P Lending Platform Linked Finance Launches Pension Investment Product (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Linked Finance, Ireland-based peer-to-peer lending company, announced on Monday the launch of its new type of pension account. The account allows holders of self-managed pensions to make P2P lending to Irish SMEs part of their pension investment portfolio.

The ID Co. launches tool to assess loan applicants on verified income (Finextra), Rated: A

One of the UK’s leading financial technology specialists, The ID Co., has announced it is the first software specialist to offer lenders the capability to calculate and base lending decisions on customers’ real earnings, known as verified income.

The ID Co. has Major Clients including a Large UK Bank, Prosper, Marlette & More (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

UK based Fintech, The ID Co., says it is the first software specialist to offer lenders the capability to calculate and base lending decisions based on customers’ real earnings or verified income. The ID Co. has major clients in both the UK and North America including a large UK retail bank, Prosper Marketplace, Marlette Funding, OakNorth Bank, eMoneyUnion, and Fair Finance.

Ex-ECB board member Jorg Asmussen leaves Funding Circle board for advisory role (Business Insider), Rated: B

German economist and politician Jörg Asmussen has moved into an advisory role at Funding Circle, leaving the London-headquartered peer-to-peer lender’s board after a year and a half.

China

China Issued the First Exit Guidelines on P2P Lending platform (Xing Ping She), Rated: AAA

Recently, the official WeChat of Shenzhen Internet finance association issued a notice concerning the exit guide of shenzhen’s marketplace lenders (solicitation draft). It was known as the first exist guide for P2P lending platforms in China. According to the notice, this guideline was drafted to direct and standardize the P2P lending institutions to smooth out of the P2P loan industry, as well as to protect the legitimate rights and interests of lenders, borrowers and P2P institutions. Before officially released, the exposure draft of guide is soliciting opinions from the industry.

Counting Decacorns? Look To Beijing (Forbes), Rated: A

Already, China has climbed to account for 23% of the world’s total 214 unicorns (compared with the U.S. at 50% and India at 9%). China claims such highly valued companies as ride-hailing service Didi, hardware innovator Xiaomi and online lender Lu.com plus newcomers to the 2017 list: bike-sharing service MoBike, news aggregator Toutiao and e-vehicle maker Neo.

Moreover, China is getting with a new class of billion-dollar valued companies, so-called decacorns or startups with valuations past the $10 billion mark. Of 14 current decacorns, Silicon Valley has 5 and so does China — four in Beijing and one in Shenzhen, according to an analysis by GSR Ventures shared by managing director Richard Lim at the recent HYSTA conference.

How and where will the next generation of unicorns be formed? Research by GSR shows that the unicorn action is in China by Chinese returnees. There were 30 unicorns founded by Chinese in China versus 9 U.S. unicorns founded by Chinese.

European Union

Moody’s Upgrades 4Finance Credit Ratings as Online Lender Tops € 5 Billion in Loans (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Moody’s Investor Service has upgraded 4Finance‘s credit ratings to B2 from B3. The upgrade comes as 4finance says it has passed € 5 billion in loan originations. The 4finance S.A. senior unsecured issuer rating was also upgraded to B2 from B3. The outlook on all ratings is stable.

Banks generally ready for rising rates (The News Tribune), Rated: A

The European Central Bank says banks under its jurisdiction appear well-prepared to face unexpectedly higher interest rates, but may be less ready for disruption from online banking.

The ECB’s banking supervision division released results Monday of a stress test that showed suddenly rising rates would increase net interest income, an important part of bank finances.

Netherlands Crowdfunding Award Nominees (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The Netherlands Crowdfunding Association has recently announced the nominees for the annual Crowdfunding Awards.

The Assocation states that Dutch investors have contributed more than €400 million in more than 4,000 different companies.

Click here for a list of nominees.

International

Canada Embraces Cashless Economy; UK Falls Behind Sweden in Cashless Technology Uptake (ForexBonuses.org), Rated: AAA

A recent study from Forex Bonuses finds the countries among the 20 largest economies who are adapting quickest to using cashless systems like phones and contactless cards – revealing that Canada narrowly edges out Sweden for the top position.

Investigating twenty of the world’s most significant markets, the study looks into contactless card saturation, number of debit and credit cards issued per capita, usage of cashless methods, growth of these cashless payments, and the proportion of people who are aware of which mobile payment services are available.

Cashless Economies

The top position has gone to Canada, who, while only having contactless functionality in 26% of their cards (compared to 41% in the UK and 56% in China) and the lowest number of debit cards per capita included in the research (0.7), were found to have over two credit cards per person, a figure only exceeded by their neighbours in the US, who had just under 3.

Likewise, the majority of their payments were made using cashless means at 57% of transactions, outmatched only by 2% in both Sweden and France. The UK reached 52% on this scale, while China, despite the majority of cards being contactless, used cashless methods in only 10% of transactions. China were also the most educated on mobile payment services, with 77% of survey respondents claiming they were aware of the options available to them in this regard. In comparison, only 47% in the UK claimed the same.

Source: ForexBonuses.org

Global Online Lender Issues €120M In Credit Lines to SMEs (PaymentsJournal), Rated: A

In three years, online lender Spotcap has issued more than €120 million in credit lines to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The fintech also raised an additional €22 million of equity and debt funding from its existing investor network. It has now raised €100 million of investment since its launch in September 2014.

Alternative Finance’s Popularity Won’t Break With Investors (PYMNTS), Rated: A

In this week’s B2B venture capital breakdown, alternative lending for small- and medium-sized businesses (and their employees) is the clear winner.

SalaryFinance

The company, based in the U.K., recently announced about $52.5 million by Legal & General, while Blenheim Chalcot also participated, according to reports. The funding round will need approval from the Financial Conduct Authority, reports added.

Taulia

This supply chain financing company has been mum about the funding, with reports only catching onto the investment of about $20 million (so far) through a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. According to reports, the firm plans to raise a total of $33.29 million, though it is unclear who provided the funding or when Taulia will officially announce the raise.

Siigo

Colombia’s Siigo, which provides accounting and administrative software for small- and medium-sized businesses, raised an undisclosed sum late last week by Accel-KKR, reports said.

4 ways FinTech is changing global finance (The Next Web), Rated: A

1. Lending

One of the biggest and most profitable sectors of the financial industry is the lending sector. Most financial institutions have used the existing models to create new ones that better fit their business models and reach their profit targets.

2. Payments

Another major role played by banks is to facilitate the transfer of funds between parties. Banks have been rumored to make at least $4 billion annually just from fees obtained during funds transfers.

4. Facilitating speedy payments

For a business to thrive, its invoices should be paid on time and in a prescribed way. One of the things that make businesses go under is the accumulation of bad debt. When invoices are not paid on time, the business suffers because the business owner must find other means of paying his creditors.

Voice Sizzles, Equifax Fizzles And Social Security Numbers Get Ready For A Curtain Call (PYMNTS), Rated: B

Singapore’s OCBC Bank is integrating Siri to help conduct corporate banking across 12,000 customers. Voice commands send payments and can also inquire about account balances. Alexa is now available in India, and will soon debut in Japan later in the year.

JG Summit scales new peak with fintech (National Multimedia), Rated: B

JG Summit’s unit, Express Holdings Inc, inked an exclusive partnership with Greater China-based Oriente to create a peer-to-peer lending solution for “under-banked” consumers.

Australia

SocietyOne announces record lending growth in 2017 (Finder), Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lender SocietyOne has announced three lending milestones for 2017 with the year not even over yet, showing how Australians are embracing this innovative way to borrow and invest.

This is a record for SocietyOne, as it has now originated more than twice the loans of the company’s nearest competitor and had seven successive quarters of growth.

The first three-quarters of 2017 also saw a record amount of funding made available by investor funders. The total number of funders has risen to 320 since SocietyOne’s inception and there is $61 million of committed available funding as at 30 September 2017.

Global SME lender Spotcap surpasses $ 180 million in credit issued (Finder), Rated: AAA

Online lender Spotcap has announced it has issued more than $180 million in credit lines to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) globally in just three years. The lender offers lines of credit up to $250,000 and has been operating in Australia since 2015.

Spring FG to launch its fintech platform in Australia (Proactive Investors), Rated: A

Spring FG Ltd (ASX:SFL) is planning a pre-Christmas launch of its innovative fintech platform, MyMoney247.

MyMoney247 will allow consumers to link hundreds of Australian bank, brokerage and investment accounts and retail and industry super funds.

Spring’s platform will employ customised technology from Australian fintech company, MoneyBrilliant, including advanced budgeting, cashflow management, bill management and spending analysis.

India

P2P platforms look for biz model restructuring to comply with RBI norms (Business-Standard), Rated: AAA

With the Reserve Bank of spelling out guidelines for regulating peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, many of these are looking at ways to comply with the norms by their business models. Further, companies find Rs 10 lakh cap on restrictive, given the phenomenal growth of the sector in the past couple of years.

RBI’s new P2P lending norms good for honest borrowers, but needs more clarity (Zeebiz), Rated: AAA

Banks and NBFCs usually offer personal loans to a salaried employees having minimum income salaried between Rs 1.20 lakh – to Rs 2.40 lakh with loan eligibility salaried between Rs 15 lakhs and Rs 20 lakhs.

Source: Zeebiz

 

SlicePay Adds International Investors To Its Board; Raises Mn In Series A Funding (Inc42), Rated: A

Bengaluru-based fintech startup SlicePay has raised $2 Mn as part of its ongoing Series A funding round. The investment was led by Japan-based Das Capital, Simile Ventures from Russia and few undisclosed angel investors.

Existing investor Blume Ventures also participated in the round, who earlier invested $500K in association with  Tracxn Labs in February 2016. With the raised funds, SlicePay plans to expand in three more cities, as well as make some senior-level hiring.

NBFC status to P2P places compliance burden; lending to go up (Business-Standard), Rated: A

Lending activity will gather pace on peer-to-peer (P2P) platform with the sector getting status even as the burden on them may eliminate some entities out of the market, industry players say.

Operational guidelines for P2P lending platforms and MediaNama’s take (Medianama), Rated: A

The guidelines from the RBI norms for disclosures are welcome. The disclosures on how companies are calculating credit scores are welcome to borrowers. Right now, with many companies looking to build credit scores through by looking at cash-flows and information on how the platforms collect this information is crucial. Companies such as EarlySalary are building credit profiles based on information on social media. Meanwhile, there are untested methods which profiles people psychologically on seeing if they are eligible for a loan.

Asia

Singapore’s OCBC Bank Pulls Siri Into B2B Payments (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Singapore’s OCBC Bank wants to use Siri to help corporates do their banking.

OCBC said in an announcement on Wednesday (Oct. 4) that it is integrating its Business Mobile Banking app with Apple’s voice assistant Siri for more than 120,000 corporate customers. The integration means professionals will be able to initiate B2B payments and funds transfers to other OCBC business accounts using Siri voice commands.Singapore’s OCBC Bank wants to use Siri to help corporates do their banking.

P2P lending can help curb national debt with data (The Korea Herald), Rated: A

One of South Korea’s leading P2P lending platform operator Lendit appears to have taken advantage of its maturing big data. The accumulated volume of personal loans originated from the firm doubled in six months as of early September to some 70 billion won ($61.6 million), after some 28 months of operation.

The database allows an individual lender to invest 10 million won at maximum in a “customized” package composed of possibly hundreds of bonds in different interest rates, while promising the lender a return of between 6 percent and 10 percent including tax and commission fee.

Kim, 31, believes Lendit could help mitigate the rapid growth of the national household debt, projected to have exceeded 1,400 trillion won in the third quarter. Household debt in Korea is considered a powder keg of the national economy amid looming signs of central banks ending expansionary monetary policies. Consumer loans take up nearly 20 percent of all household debt in Korea.

Latin America

Afluenta Celebrates Fifth Anniversary By Launching Commercial Loans to New Platform (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Argentina-based peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Afluenta recently announced during its fifth-anniversary celebration it was launching commercial loans to the fifth version of its lending platform. According to the lender, in the latest version, it will add its own proprietary credit scoring and introduces commercial loans for people with commercial activities, which is noted to usually not served by traditional banks.

Small business lending in Mexico gets a boost (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Micro-lending and small business financing are a critical component of economic growth around the world, and the need for access to low-cost capital is especially important in developing countries.

The Catch-22 is that these countries are also the ones where the lending markets are the least developed, and where most financial institutions are reluctant to lend money to people who don’t have any credit history (what the industry calls “thin-file” customers).

The problem is especially acute in Mexico, where only 39 percent of the population has a bank account and 75 million people still have no access to the kind of financial services and lending support they would need to start micro- and small- businesses.

That’s the thinking behind Konfio, a Mexican startup that’s raised $10 million in new funding led by the International Finance Corp. (the investment arm of the development-focused World Bank) and previous investors, including QED InvestorsKaszek VenturesAccion Frontier Inclusion FundAccion Venture Lab and Jaguar Ventures.

Canada

Helping Ontarians Trapped in Payday Loans (BayStreet), Rated: A

In Ontario, the payday-loan industry offers sums of cash of less than $1,500 for short terms — less than 62 days — at very high interest rates: there are currently 657% on an annualized basis on the average 10-day term, down from 766% before the regulations took effect.

These lenders fill a unique niche in Ontario’s lending market for customers known as ALICE — an acronym for Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, and Employed. More than two-thirds of ALICEs earn less than $50,000 per year. And while payday lenders’ reputation for being the somewhat shifty cousins of banks is not entirely undeserved, they nonetheless provide a real and needed service to people who, for a variety of reasons, can’t or don’t have the cash to meet their needs. The majority of people who take out a payday loan are doing so to avoid late charges, NSF fees, or maintain power in their digs.

 

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Australia Peer to Peer Market

Australia alternative finance

The word “digital disruption” holds true meaning when we look at the online alternative lending sector. Marketplace lending is an amazing example of the evolution and transformation of the incumbent lending sector. Though alternative lending has been around for a decade, Australia has taken a while to embrace this revolution. Even though it is at […]

Australia alternative finance

The word “digital disruption” holds true meaning when we look at the online alternative lending sector. Marketplace lending is an amazing example of the evolution and transformation of the incumbent lending sector. Though alternative lending has been around for a decade, Australia has taken a while to embrace this revolution. Even though it is at a nascent stage in the land down under, with the recent entry of American players and big-ticket VC investments, it is a matter of time before it turns into a multi-billion-dollar industry.

Australia is now ranked as the second largest online alternative finance market in the Asia-Pacific region, behind only China. According to the first comprehensive study conducted in the Asia Pacific in 2015, the Australian online alternative lending market increased by 320% with a market value of nearly USD$350 million. From 2015 to 2016, the market size grew 53.6% and is now at USD$609.6 million. The chart below represents the growth the market saw between 2013 and 2015. Lack of funding options for SMEs, missing flexibility in personal loan products, and a highly regulated banking sector are some of the reasons why Australia has emerged as one of the most lucrative untapped lending markets.

Regulatory Framework: P2P lending

It has been mandated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission that all P2P lending companies operating in Australia need to hold an Australian Financial Service License (AFSL) and Australian Credit License (ACL) to be able to engage and carry on financial services legally. In addition, P2P online platforms must operate as managed investment schemes, and that scheme needs to be registered if the investment is offered to retail customers.

Major players in P2P Lending Market

SocietyOne

SocietyOne was launched in 2012, by Matt Symons and Greg Symons. It has raised $55.24 million in various funding rounds from eight investors (Australian Capital Equity, Beyond Bank, Consolidated Press Holdings, Global Founders Capital, Justin Reizes, News Corp Australia, Reinventure Group, Seven West Media). Through its platform, SocietyOne enables savvy investors to diversify their investments based on their varying individual investment goals and degree of risk. Qualified borrowers can have access to unsecured loans ranging from $5000 to $35000, to be repaid over a loan term of 2, 3 or 5 years.

Since its launch, it has evolved rapidly and has a firm foothold in the consumer finance industry, and today the platform is among the largest provider of personal loans. Its philosophy to connect borrowers and investors through its Clearmatch technology (where a soft online credit check that does not affect the credit score is made to evaluate whether the borrower is eligible for the loan or not) platform is making a real difference in offering better deals than traditional banks. In 2015, it surpassed $50 million in total funded loans. As the chart below shows between January, 2016 and June, 2017 loan origination has increased by a staggering 345%.

Alongside such an impressive growth, it has became a popular choice among the investors as it offers a steady return of 9% and has a very low default rate of about 1.8% across the whole loan portfolio.

Marketlend

Marketlend was founded in 2014 by Leo Tyndall, a former executive at UniCredit, where he was handling securitization and capital market operations. Tyndall started the company with his life savings and in June, 2016 it raised USD $1 million from Jonathan Barlow and Mateusz Szeszkowski.

It is the first platform in Australia that facilitates combination of prompt lending with insurance and margin protection. The P2P structure of Marketlend comprises of three key strengths: providing an innovative solution for financing against unpaid invoices, improving insurance cover against risk and loss protection and ensuring securitization of loans to meet the needs of investors especially the institutional investors. It offers rate of returns upto 10.40% for investors.

Safety First

Marketlend gives top most priority to the security of its borrowers and investors. It accepts losses of at least 1% of the loan through its reserve fund and has even partnered with an insurance company to provide insurance cover under certain circumstances. Since its inception in 2014, it has funded $24 million of loans with zero default.

Bigstone

As per the study conducted by East & Partners on behalf of Western Union Business Services, it was observed that around 83% of the small and medium sized businesses are struggling to have access to credit. To exploit this opportunity, Boyd Pederson, a former managing director at Boston Consulting Group founded Bigstone in 2016. In August 2016, Bigstone raised USD $3 million from four investors (Cicada Innovations, CVC Capital Partners, Narith Phadungchai, and Paniti Junhasavasdikul). Low APR (8%-24%) makes the platform an attractive proposition in the highly competitive alternative lending market.

Bigstone provides loans ranging from $10,000-$250,000 to SME businesses with a maximum loan term of two years. The whole loan approval process is simple, easy and quick and loan is approved or rejected in minutes. On the other end of the spectrum, it enables the investors to spread risk by investing in diversified small loans offered to borrowers in real time.

DirectMoney

Online lending platform DirectMoney is Australia’s first P2P Company to be listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). It was launched in 2006 by Guy Baldwin and David Doust and at the time was considered a path breaker since it offered varied rates of interest to the borrowers depending upon their credit ratings whereas others provided a single rate of interest to all the borrowers. It raised an undisclosed amount as seed capital from Trevor Folsom, the co-founder of Investible.

DirectMoney connects the borrowers and investors through its pioneer platform and enables the investors to invest in secured and unsecured personal loans. Investors invest by buying the units in the DirectMoney Personal Loan Income Fund and after making deductions for loan losses and management fees, the interest charged from borrowers is the return paid to the investors.

Borrowers can apply for loans ranging from $5,000 to $35,000 to be repaid over 3 to 5 year with varied rates of interest applicable depending upon the credit worthiness of the borrower.

MoneyPlace

MoneyPlace is another innovative marketplace lender that develops a connection between creditworthy borrowers who are seeking to access personal loans with wholesale investor clients. This platform was launched in 2014 by Stuart Stoyan and has its headquarter at Melbourne, Australia. Investment in MoneyPlace is open only to wholesale and institutional investors who fund unsecured personal loans. Auswide Bank agreed to invest AUD $60 million over a stretch of five years and took a 20 percent equity stake in the start-up and in the beginning of this year Auswide increased its stake to 51 percent with the option of increasing it to 75%.

Risk-Based Pricing

Depending on the risk profile of the loans, investors can earn a rate of return varying from 7.7% to 15%. It offers four different investment options based on varying risk profiles namely; conservative, balanced, high yield or customized portfolio.

With a motive to minimize the risk factor involved in the loans, the loans are divided into fractions. The investors can buy the fractions of different loans and thereby spread their risk over a diversified portfolio of loans.

Conclusion

According to the research by Morgan Stanley, value of loans made by online lending platforms in Australia is expected to reach $22 billion in next five years. P2P lending to consumers is expected to reach $10.4 billion whereas P2P lending to small businesses is expected to reach $11.4 billion during the same period. These numbers clearly represents the opportunity for P2P lenders to establish a meaningful presence in the Australian market. Established fintech lenders like RateSetter (UK), OnDeck (US) are expanding operations in in Australia. This goes to show the importance of the Australian market and the potential it represents.

Author:

Written by Heena Dhir and Allen Taylor

Allen Taylor

Tuesday August 22 2017, Daily News Digest

Peter Renton investment results

News Comments Today’s main news: PawnHero lands $9.7M financing. AltFi Data scoops equity investment, appoints advisory board. Funding Circle to launch new Autobid, Autosell lending features. SocietyOne celebrates fifth anniversary. Today’s main analysis: Peter Renton’s MPL results for Q2 2017. Today’s thought-provoking articles: How Amazon’s Alexa will upend wealth management. The future of banking investments. Will finance businesses jeopardize the credit quality […]

Peter Renton investment results

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

  • Instant gratification and real-time vacations. AT: “In 2005, my wife and I toured Germany by train. At that time, we had our laptops and managed to book hospitality services using the public railway system’s free wi-fi. We thought it was cool that we could plan a two-week vacation on the fly and move from one city to the next with minimal planning. Today’s technology is even better and more readily available for this type of ‘vagabonding’.”
  • International REITs.

Australia

APAC

Middle East

News Summary

United States

My Quarterly Marketplace Lending Results – Q2 2017 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

One could almost say my returns are in a downward spiral. Since peaking in Q1 2014 at 12.44% my returns have decreased pretty much every quarter and for the last two years that decrease has averaged around 0.5% per quarter.

This past quarter my overall returns stood at 7.28% and the returns for my original six accounts were 5.07%. My worst Lending Club account was my original account there and it came in at 1.95% for the year. The only good news, if there was any, was that I did not have a negative quarter in any of my accounts this quarter unlike in Q1.

Source: Lend Academy
  1. All the account totals and interest numbers are taken from my monthly statements that I download each month.
  2. The Net Interest column is the total interest earned plus late fees and recoveries less charge-offs.
  3. The Average Rate column shows the weighted average interest rate taken directly from Lending Club or Prosper.
  4. The XIRR ROI column shows my real world return for the trailing 12 months (TTM). I believe the XIRR method is the best way for individual investors to determine their actual return.
  5. The six older accounts have been separated out to provide a level of continuity with my earlier updates.
  6. I do not take into account the impact of taxes.

Lending Club

While Lending Club shows an 8.19% return I ignore that number and do my own calculation. My TTM return here is at an all time low of 1.95% but at least I have reversed what happened in Q1 when I had a negative quarter.

Prosper

Source: Lend Academy

Direct Lending Income Fund

The Direct Lending Income Fund continues to be my most consistent performer returning solid double digit returns every quarter since I started investing back in 2013.

How Amazon’s Alexa will upend wealth management (Financial-Planning), Rated: AAA

Advisors wondering how Amazon will enter wealth management should look to its cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services, which is pitching the natural language processing, machine-learning brain behind its voice interactive service to wirehouses, broker-dealers and robo advisors.

Already, UBS has partnered with Amazon to enable clients and non-clients of the bank to get answers to financial and economic questions through Alexa.

The Future Of Banking Investments (Modest Money), Rated: AAA

I’ve actually had this subject on my mind for awhile. In my article “Customer Experience And Retail Banking: Why Banks Need To Enter The Modern World”, I discussed a day where my district manager came to show us the ABSOLUTE IMPORTANCE OF LOBBY LEADERSHIP!!!!!!! I was rather underwhelmed by its importance, but overwhelmed by the fact that the banks were all putting such a heavy focus on greeting customers at the door and making each trip to the bank “an experience”

One of the downsides of the future of banks—and one of the things that might compel someone to avoid bank stocks—is that they are slow to change. They are loathe to change.

Other businesses are trying to please their customers. Banks are trying to please their regulators. Because customers don’t issue multi-million dollar fines on banks when they don’t get what they want.

A New Challenger Has Entered The Battle!

Businesses always have competition within their field. Banks are no exception. Banks compete with other banks to provide their services to the global market.

Except now, with fintech growing at a record pace, banks face competition from small fintech companies and major technology giants such as Google and Apple.

We’ve seen companies like Lending Club take the world of lending andinvesting by storm with their peer-to-peer lending services. LendingTree has changed the way people shopped for mortgages, and LendKey is fast becoming a leader in student loans by acting as a broker for not-for-profit lenders and providing full after-funding services. I wrote a review about LendKey here.

For non-lending companies that aren’t brought to you by the letter “L”, there’s PolicyGenius (an online life insurance broker). There’s Acorns, a “micro investment” company that takes each of your debit card purchases, rounds them up to the nearest dollar, and invests the spare change into your investment portfolio. And of course, there’s PayPal, the legendary online payments/money transfer company.

Of course, the fintech firms aren’t even the largest future competitors! Ironically, it’s non-financial technology giants that pose the greatest threat to the future of traditional banks!

Why I Think Bank Stocks Are A Great Future Investment

No, I’m bullish on banks because I think that they will adapt, in their own unique way.

Read the rest of this snarky analysis.

What Key’s fintech investments say about commercial payments (American Banker), Rated: A

Last week the Cleveland-based bank announced it had taken an equity stake in the fintech firm Billtrust, which provides digitized and automated accounts receivable capabilities for companies. The investment is one of a series the $134 billion-asset Key has made in the space in the last two years.

Other banks are also making an effort to enhance commercial payments capabilities. Wells Fargo, for example, in June announced that receipt imaging would be available for commercial card customers who use the bank’s commercial card expense reporting service, which allows them to upload and manage receipts directly on mobile devices. U.S. Bank also began offering corporate clients a virtual payments service, for employees who need to make a one-off work-related payment or who make purchases rarely enough that they don’t need a physical plastic corporate card.

Key is hoping that B-to-B payment solutions will make it stand out in the competitive landscape of commercial banking.

Making Friends with Fintech: Tips for Bankers (ABA Banking Journal), Rated: A

Time and reality have since set in, and the tone of the conversation has shifted away from “compete” toward “collaborate.” Banks increasingly see the value of capabilities developed by fintech firms, and those companies in turn are becoming better acquainted with the challenges of regulation and other barriers to bringing their products to market.

For banks, the wakeup call has been the realization that customers are coming to value—and expect—a frictionless banking experience. And if banks can’t provide that kind of frictionless experience, Henrichs says, they’ll turn to alternate solutions.

Keys to building a successful fintech strategy

1. Adopt the right cultural mindset.

First and foremost, the bank must have an appetite for innovation.

For some banks, this may involve a shift away from viewing fintech companies as simply third-party vendors or service providers, and instead as collaborators working side by side to develop something new.

2. Do something.

And size isn’t an excuse to sit back and wait, Henrichs adds. Rather, it’s about choosing an area of focus that makes sense for the bank in terms of available resources. While that may not always be a big, sexy innovation, banks can start by achieving smaller, incremental change—something as simple as building and beta testing a new email delivery system can help build up the bank’s “try and fail muscle” and help lay the groundwork for future, larger-scale projects.

3. Be forward-looking.

Consumers’ demands are shifting every day, and new products will continue to hit the market at an unrelenting pace. Knowing that, bankers must be able to keep an eye on the horizon.

Will the human-robo approach to wealth management become best practice? (WhatInvestment.co.uk), Rated: A

According to the quarterly Fiserv “Expectations & Experiences: Borrowing and Wealth Management” survey conducted in June 2016, 49 per cent of consumers are interested in receiving financial advice from a robo-advisor.

However, there are limits to a robo-only approach. That is why we are witnessing an increase in wealth management firms that incorporate both digital advice and human advice to create a hybrid model, which is likely to become best practice in the industry.

Property Partner adds student assets to portfolio (Property Week), Rated: B

Real estate crowdfunding platform Property Partner has added student accommodation assets to its portfolio for the first time due to its high returns.

Online financial websites abound with free information (Lebanon Democrat), Rated: B

Annualcreditreport.com is a free website and app which will allow you to get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting company.

Nerdwallet.com is another free website and app. The site offers financial tools and objective advice to help people better understand their financial options and make the best possible financial decisions.

Mint.com is a free website and app that helps you create budgets that make sense today and set you up for success tomorrow.

Bankrate.com is a free website and app that will help you find and compare rates on financial products like mortgages, credit cards, car loans, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, checking ATM fees, home equity loans and banking fees.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle to Launch New Version of Autobid & Autosell Lending (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On Monday, Funding Circle announced it is set to launch a new version of its existing Autobid and Autosell lending tools. Funding Circle will be eliminating the option to manually choose which businesses an investor may lend to and which loan parts to sell will be withdrawn. This is a significant shift in operation of the peer to peer lending platform as it begins to operate more like a fund.

Funding Circle created a new section on their web site dedicated to the explanation as to why they were moving away from peer to peer lending and becoming more like a fund by eliminating manual selection.

While many investors have enjoyed manually choosing loans, there are some drawbacks to it:

  • Many investors do not currently benefit from lending to all types of businesses.
  • It can mean your lending is not spread evenly across lots of businesses.
  • It can be confusing for investors.73% of new investors who join Funding Circle choose Autobid, and 80% of Funding Circle investors* say simplicity of lending is important to them.”

Regulatory spotlight on crowdfunding & P2P lenders (Moore Stephens), Rated: A

The FCA has launched a crackdown on peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, in the coming months, aiming to ensure protection for retail investors within this heavily risk-associated market.

China

Finance businesses may jeopardise credit quality of internet companies, Moody’s says (SCMP), Rated: AAA

These operations could weaken the internet companies’ credit quality, especially if their finances are consolidated on the technology companies’ accounts, Moody’s Investors Service said.

That’s because most internet companies don’t generate enough profits from operating these businesses, and they lack a track record of holding borrowers accountable for timely payments on their loans, Moody’s said.

Source: South China Morning Post

Unruly and unregulated, nation’s Internet finance sector urgently needs supervision (Global Times), Rated: A

After years of explosive but unruly growth, the online finance market requires cooling through tighter regulation.

On the contrary, there were few regulations to guide or hamper China’s Internet finance industry, with no such requirements as reserve levels or loan-to-deposit ratios. The near-absence of regulation greatly lowered the barriers to entry for the sector, which witnessed both explosive expansion and high failure and fraud rates as it grew. Take P2P lending platforms, for example. As of the end of July, 5,916 P2P lending platforms had been set up in China, but only 2,090 were operating normally, with the rest either encountering liquidity problems or simply closing, according to statistics from wangdaizhijia.com, a P2P industry portal.

Views on Yu’E Bao: easy for payment but difficult in credit! (Xing Ping She), Rated: B

Ant Financial has a big market share in the online payments industry in China. However, its ambitions go far beyond that. Recently, Ant Financial was known to get involved in the credit market.

Ant Financial seeks to merge the gap between the Yu ‘E Bao account and the general bank account through the online merchant bank. It hopes to connect the supply and demand side of the credit in its own account system, just as the bank account do.

But it won’t be easy. The biggest difference between the credit business and the payment business is that the credit business is a heavy capital business and a highly regulated licence business with a strong social spillover effect.

European Union

Sweden Cryptocurrency Boom: Top 3 Swedish Fintech Startups To Watch (IBT), Rated: AAA

The Swedish startup Klarna made waves this summer by launching its own peer-to-peer payment app called Wavy and acquiring a full banking license, which sets Klarna apart as one of the few fintech companies able to compete with traditional banks head-on. TechCrunch described it as a $2 billion startup working the  700,000 e-commerce sites. In June, Visa Inc. announced it is buying a stake in Klarna plus forming a payments partnership. Klarna is now widely considered one of the world’s most promising fintech startups.

The Stockholm Fintech Hub is less than a year old and is now reportedly home to more than 200 startups, plus representatives from a few global players like IBM and Microsoft.

There is a small but growing demand for bitcoin in Sweden. Sweden’s central bank is even considering the merits of making its own national cryptocurrency. In the meantime, Safello aims to become the “ Coinbase of Europe,” since the European bitcoin landscape is far more diverse than North America in terms of regulation and user habits. Coinbase, arguably the world’s best funded bitcoin exchange, is already available in Europe. However, Safello sets itself apart by focusing exclusively on the needs of European users, including support in nine different languages.

So far, Schuil said Safello has facilitated $10 million worth of transactions involving tens of thousands of European users.

Klarna and Safello aren’t the only Swedish startups with the potential to completely overhaul how people interact with money. Among all the startups buzzing around Stockholm, Biohax International certainly stands out. Biohax CEO Jowan Osterlund told IBT his team has implanted 3,000 microchips in people’s bodies, usually their hands, most of which happened in the past year.

These microchips can be used for purchases like train tickets and food. The Wisconsin company Three Square Market now lets employees buy office snacks with the swipe of a bio hacked hand, while also using the chip as a workplace ID for office equipment.

AltFi Data scoops equity investment, appoints advisory board (AltFi), Rated: A

The transparency agenda in online lending has taken a step forwards, as another analytics firm raises capital. AltFi Data has raised an undisclosed sum of equity funding, in tandem to forming a new advisory board.

Roger Spooner and Peter Wilson will join existing backer and executive board-member Michael Baptista on the newly established advisory board. Spooner was most recently a member of the management committee at global data firm Markit, where he was head of global client management. Following a 20 year career in private equity, Wilson was the inaugural CEO of British Business Bank Investments, where he was responsible for £1.5bn of government investment. In this role he oversaw a number of early institutional investments within the UK’s marketplace lending sector.

Funding campaign aims to establish new co-working space in Dublin (Irish Times), Rated: B

Sona 10 Newmarket, which is located next to the Teeling Whiskey Distillery, is being created in collaboration with the long-established Dublin Food Co-Op and will be hosted on its premises.

The brainchild of Adrian O’Connor, a Canadian entrepreneur who has lived and worked in the area for about a decade, Sona 10 has already raised some private funding to get the building open with some tenants already coming on board.

It is now seeking to raise an additional €25,000 via the Irish crowdfunding platform Flender to kit out the premises.

International

Real-Time Vacations: The Instant Gratification Of Fintech (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Being able to transfer money between accounts in real-time has become part of our daily lives, so much so that when these automatic services do not work, it becomes a problem.

Smartphones have become global standard: ‘conventional banking meant writing traveler’s checks and exchanging physical currency ahead of a trip, both of which are very expensive for the average consumer. Since then, new fintech providers – even in emerging markets – have dramatically increased the acceptance of foreign credit and debit cards,’ Likar said.

Vacationing in real-time is here: ‘you can now rent an apartment for same-day arrival on Airbnb or HomeAway, find last-minute dinner reservations through OpenTable, borrow a car near your location with Turo, and even book by-the-minute hotel rooms through the Recharge app.

Another aim of the fintech industry, in the same vein of the eradication of cash, is helping those that are unbanked and underbanked pay for services only available for those with credit cards. ‘Most airlines today accept payments from alternatives like PayPal. Other financial services companies, such as Affirm, offer three, six and twelve-month financing plans for customers who cannot afford to pay for the flight up front.’

WeSwap is a multi-currency card that can hold up to 18 different currencies, ensuring that consumers can lock in the exchange rate upfront rather than after the purchase,’ Likar mentioned.

International REITs: An Overlooked but Surging Asset Class (Investopedia), Rated: A

In the U.S., the real estate sector is one of the smallest groups in the S&P 500, but real estate investment trusts (REITs) are popular among income investors.

As WisdomTree points out in a recent note, a massive chunk of global real estate investments are actually found outside the U.S. (See also: Eyeing Emerging Markets REITs? See These ETFs.)

Australia

SocietyOne Celebrates Five Year Anniversary Of Helping Customers (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Australia-based online lender SocietyOne announced on Monday it is celebrating its five-year anniversary of helping customers achieve their lending needs. This celebration comes less than two months after the lending platform surpassed $300 million in total originations. The lender revealed that more than 13,000 customers thanks to $325 million provided by its investor funders.

APAC

PawnHero bags $ 9.7m financing, partners PLDT fintech arm (Deal Street Asia), Rated: AAA

Southeast Asia’s first digital pawn shop PawnHero has closed a $9.7 million (P500 million) financing deal with a Philippine investment bank even as it signed a partnership agreement with the fintech arm of telco giant PLDT.

Middle East

Ever a lender or a borrower be… (Khaleej Times), Rated: AAA

The key to the banks’ risk taking ability is aggregation. The bank is able to get the deposits at scale and at the same time lend to a large number of customers most of which are likely to pay back. In a portfolio of loans, historically, only a small percentage is non-performing. The individual lender has so far not had the ability to create a portfolio. The start of crowdfunding a few years ago began to change that. Crowdfunding works in the area of providing returns through some level of ownership of either the product itself or the company which is promoting it. For individual investors seeking a stream of steady income on the other hand, P2P Lending or Marketplace Lending makes more sense.

However, the speed of growth of P2P lending outstrips that of traditional banking. An excellent December 2014 whitepaper, A Trillion Dollar Market By the People, For the People published by Foundation Capital, describes the blistering pace at which P2P lending grew from a base of $870 million dollars in 2012. Estimates of the size of the industry vary from between $100 billion to $200 billion. The whitepaper predicts that the market size will be about $1 trillion by 2025.

On average, P2P lending platforms like Beehive are able to reduce interest rate spreads between sourcing and lending money by about 400 basis points (4 per cent). That’s because players in this space do not keep the loans on their balance sheets.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday July 10 2017, Daily News Digest

marketplace securitizations PeerIQ

News Comments Today’s main news: LendingClub receives unsolicited offer from IEG for nearly 10% stake. Goldman looks to spin off Simon at $75M valuation. Assetz Capital to expand UK broker network. Stripe integrates with Alipay, WeChat. Australian advisers drop big banks. Today’s main analysis: MPL securitization tracker. Will China Rapid Finance turn the tide for Chinese IPOS in the U.S.? […]

marketplace securitizations PeerIQ

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

Canada

Middle East

News Summary

United States

LendingClub gets unsolicited offer from IEG for 9.99 pct stake (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

LendingClub Corp said it had received an unsolicited offer from IEG Holdings Corp to buy a 9.99 percent stake in the online lender.

IEG’s proposal offers two shares for each LendingClub share, and is at a 38 percent discount to LendingClub’s Thursday’s close.

The online lender urged its stockholders to ignore the offer, if and when made.

Marketplace Lending Securitization Tracker Q2 2017 (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

 Some highlights:
  • This quarter we see quarterly issuance of $3.0 Bn, representing 76% growth over 2Q2016.  To date, cumulative issuance equals $21.9 Bn across 92 deals.
  • Multi-seller club deals and self-sponsored deals have emerged at several leading platforms.  All deals were rated in this quarter, including record-sized consumer deals from SoFi, large multi-seller deals from Marlette and Prosper, and the first self-sponsored, near-prime deals from Lending Club and Upstart.
  • Dealer and rating agency participation continues to intensify. Fitch rated its first Consumer MPL, Prosper’s PMIT 2017-1, indicating broadening acceptance across ratings agencies. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank lead over 47% of MPL ABS transaction volume. Noteworthy is the rising presence of BNP Paribas, which co-managed CLUB 2017-NP1. DBRS leads the rating agency league table, and Kroll dominates the unsecured consumer sub-segment.
  • New issuance spreads continued to tighten and flatten—a credit friendly environment for securitization.  In 2Q2017, we saw spreads tighten in riskier tranches of consumer ABS, indicating strong investor appetite for MPL ABS paper in the market.
  • Delinquency rates have continued to increase across in several verticals—such as subprime auto, student, and personal loans—due to exposure to riskier borrowers, a re-leveraging of consumer balance sheets, “loan stacking,” and shifting payment priority trends.
  • Initial pricing is near record tight levels. Lending Club’s inaugural deal priced at Libor + 110, second only to Marlette’s MFT 2017-1 (L+100) on the Class A bond. Overall, spreads have tightened with greater investor acceptance in an overall “risk on” environment.

Get the full report here.

Source: PeerIQ

Online Lenders Work Wall Street For Capital (ValueWalk), Rated: AAA

Equity financing events dropped to $2.2 billion in deal value across 145 transactions in 2016 down from $5.1 billion across 174 deals in 2015. This pace has continued to trend down in 2017, with 25 deals completed through March, yet SoFi’s $453 million Series G has bumped the total deal value to $754 million.

Instead of an IPO, Prosper has resorted to a major down round to stop the bleeding. The company is raising a $59 million Series E venture round that values the company at $460 million (post-valuation), a steep drop from the $165 million series D raised in 2015 that valued the company at a postval of $1.87 billion.

Goldman Sachs is looking to spinoff one of its tech bets at a $ 75 million valuation (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Goldman Sachs is looking to sell a stake in one of its fintech bets — an online platform for retail bond investors called Simon — that would value the web app at about $75 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The investment bank launched Simon — which stands for Structured Investment Marketplace and Online — a couple years ago to help clients more easily learn about structured investments and execute transactions.

How financial advisers can “bridge the digital” divide (Investment News), Rated: A

Of those surveyed, 55% said that an aggregated view of their key financial accounts would be “extremely useful” or “very useful.” An account reporting dashboard was the second most popular tool, at 50%, followed by customized notifications and alerts (44%) and financial calculators (43%). Each of these tools provides investors with easy access to their own financial information in an easily digestible way. The good news is that advisers agree with investors on what is “extremely” or “very” useful, with financial account aggregators (69%) and account reporting dashboard (67%) being seen as the top tools.

VW Credit, Inc., Invests In AutoGravity Leading Financial Technology For Vehicle Financing (Cision), Rated: A

VW Credit, Inc. (VCI) today announced that it has committed to make an equity investment in AutoGravity, pending customary regulatory approvals. With this strategic investment, VCI is supporting its goal to create a digital experience that enhances the customer financing process. AutoGravity is a FinTech pioneer facilitating car shopping and financing with the power of the smartphone.

In addition to this investment, VW Credit, Inc., has worked with AutoGravity to bring Volkswagen and Audi financing directly to car buyers across the United States. Through this project, VW Credit, Inc., has launched the Volkswagen Creditsmartphone app, powered by proprietary AutoGravity technology and available for iOS and Android. Finance options from Volkswagen Credit are now available on the AutoGravity platform, extending the range of options available to more than 400,000 consumers who have downloaded AutoGravity. Volkswagen dealers now can benefit from a new source of potential car buyers.

How the U.S. compares to others in fintech use (Benefits Pro), Rated: A

Why OCC fintech charter may have life under new leader (American Banker), Rated: A

With legal challenges and uncertainty about the agency’s leadership, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s fintech charter appeared dead in the water just months ago. But industry observers say the OCC’s interim chief is emerging as a potential savior for the controversial initiative.

“We’re seeing an assertive OCC,” said Brian Knight, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center.

Podcast 108: Perry Rahbar of dv01 (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • How Perry’s time at Bear Stearns during the financial crisis influenced his thinking on transparency.
  • What problem dv01 is trying to solve.
  • The different ways they work with securitization buyers and whole loan buyers.
  • The details about their reporting partnership with SoFi.
  • How they are able to create data standardization with disparate data from many platforms.
  • How they are using Experian data in their partnership.
  • Why updated credit attributes on loan data is going to be critically important when the credit cycle turns.
  • When and how dv01 is going to expand beyond the online lending space.

SoFi Announces Partnership With Alaska Air (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Online lending platform SoFi announced this week it has teamed up with Alaska Air to help its new members save money on student loans while also earning extra summer travel points.

CreditEase Fintech Fund continues to invest in strong Fintech companies in CB Insights’ Global Fintech 250 (Broadway World), Rated: A

As many as 13 companies backed by investments from CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund (CEFIF) were named today by CB Insights to the prestigious global Fintech 250, a select group of emerging private companies working on groundbreaking financial technology. The list was revealed during The Future of Fintech conference in New York on June 27th.

The winners in relation with CreditEase investments include Addepar, NAV, Tradeshift, Upgrade, Circle, TruMid, WorldCover, TrueAccord, Bocheng (CreditEase Insurance Agency) and others.

Apple Bank here we come (LinkedIn), Rated: B

According to the limited information available, Apple will automatically issue a virtual payment card to all iOS users, allowing them to receive and hold money in Apple Wallet.

This isn’t Venmo. Or even Paypal. We aren’t linking up accounts and plastic cards here. We are issuing cards. Virtual cards. To all iOS users.

How soon will they start to pay interest? What about something like Apple Wealth? The scale and impact really boggle the mind. We are breaking new ground here. Only WeChat and Alipay are operating on this scale, but let’s face it, they are still one trick ponies operating in a single market.

Private bank Brown Brothers Harriman creates fintech position (American Banker), Rated: B

Brown Brothers Harriman promoted Michael McGovern to the newly created position of head of investor services fintech offerings, as custodial banks ramp up digital offerings in the face of competition.

United Kingdom

Assetz Capital to Expand UK Broker Network to Further Scale P2P Business (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Assetz Capital is looking to increase its active broker network significantly in the next two years, and has announced a strategy to further support brokers through several methods.  This includes using its network of nationwide Regional Relationship Directors to locally support more brokers, further product and pricing improvements, dedicated staff in the head office and a series of regional broker events which are specifically aimed at educating and supporting brokers.

Funding Options founder sees limit to P2P growth (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

THERE is a limit to how much peer-to peer lending platforms can grow, according to Funding Options’ founder Conrad Ford.

The head of the online small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) finance aggregator told Peer2Peer Finance News that there are lots of “smallish, niche opportunities” for P2P firms but that they would not be able to graduate to originating larger facilities.

Authorised P2P property lender clinches seed funding (AltFi), Rated: A

LandlordInvest, a property-focused peer-to-peer lender, has clinched a round of seed funding from Alan Gabbay, director of O&H Properties, a London-based privately owned investment firm with assets valued at around £1bn. Further details of the investment have not been disclosed. The platform is also backed by LNK Capital, and angel investors Reece Chowdhry and Lee Josephs.

FCA applications have cost the P2P sector up to £2m (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

THE FINANCIAL Conduct Authority (FCA) has pocketed up to £2m from full authorisation of the peer-to-peer lending sector, figures suggest.

A freedom of information request by Peer2Peer Finance News shows that the City watchdog has considered 146 applications for full permission from P2P platforms since 2014 – when the FCA took over regulating the sector – with firms paying application fees of £600 to £15,000 depending on their income at the time.

This reveals that the regulator has raised up to £2.1m if all firms paid £15,000, or a minimum of £87,600 if all firms paid the lowest fee of £600.

Happy Birthday, Landbay!: P2P Platform Celebrates Three Years of Online Lending (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

On Friday, UK-based peer-to-peer lending platform Landbay celebrated its third birthday. The online lender revealed that in the past three years, it has lent a total of £47.31 million, which is funding buy-to-let mortgages throughout the UK.

New P2P business lender launches as Appointed Representative (AltFi), Rated: A

Huddle Capital is the UK’s newest peer-to-peer business lender, but its route to market is somewhat different to those that went before it. Huddle launched too late to operate under the FCA’s interim permissions regime, and achieving full authorisation – as even the biggest peer-to-peer lenders have discovered – takes time.

Huddle has come to market as an Authorised Representative of fully authorised peer-to-peer firm rebuildingsociety.com.

British venture capital investing trends in the tech sector (RealBusiness), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle and mobile banking service Atom Bank secured the biggest amounts of British venture capital investing, raising £83m apiece. In fact, the five largest deals accounted for a third of overall British capital investing.

Indeed, 27 fintech companies secured £262m from 49 investors.

People are raising hundreds of millions selling digital coins online (Business Insider), Rated: B

Over half a billion dollars has been raised through so-called “Initial Coin Offerings” (ICOs) since the start of the year, according to Richard Kastelein, a partner at the Cryptoassets Design Group, a company that helps launch ICOs.

Gnosis, a prediction market for digital currency Ethereum, raised $12 million in just 10 minutes in April. Brave, a new web browser startup set up by the founder of Mozilla, made that look pedestrian, raising $35 million in less than 30 seconds selling “Basic Attention Tokens” last month.

To raise money through an ICO, a company issues a new digital currency that can either be spent within its ecosystem, a bit like Disneyland dollars, or used to power part of the business, like the fuel you put in your car.

China

Bitcoin-Friendly Stripe Strikes Major FinTech Deal with China’s Alipay, WeChat (Cryptocoins News), Rated: AAA

The integration will now enable all Stripe merchants in over 25 countries make money from Chinese consumers. Alipay, the payments platform of Ant Financial – the financial arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba has over 500 million users on its platform. WeChat Pay, the digital payments platform of WeChat – China’s most popular messaging app – has over 600 million users. The two firms were responsible for handling near $3 trillion in 2016, according to a UN report.

The integration coincides with the payments processor’s official launch in Hong Kong.

Alibaba-Backed Company Could Turn The Tide For Chinese IPOs in US After String of Busts (Frontera News), Rated: AAA

The pipeline of Chinese (FXI) IPOs planning to list on the New York Stock Exchange (SPY)(NYSE) (NDAQ)could make 2017 the biggest year for the country’s stocks since 2014 when Alibaba (BABA) listed its shares.

2016 saw new listings worth $119.4 billion on the New York Stock Exchange with Chinese logistics company ZTO Express (ZTO) being the largest with an IPO worth $1.4 billion. So far in 2017, 137 IPOs worth $27.2 billion have been announced in the United states, 6.6% higher year over year.

Shares of Alibaba(BABA) are up 42% while shares of JD.com have surged 94.9% since their IPOs in2014. Shares of Baidu are currently trading 19 times of its IPO price.

China: WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

On June 27th, The Alibaba Group financial affiliate rolled out an artificial intelligence-driven, image-recognition system to aid vehicle insurance claims adjusters in operating faster and more efficiently.

Yu’E Bao, one of China’s most popular internet-based funds, had amassed CNY 1.43 trillion of assets under management by the end of June, which has already exceeded the size of individual deposits at some of China’s largest banks.

The development of the Shenzhen Municipal Government Financial Services Office, the local banking regulator in Shenzhen, has released guidelines to prompt large and medium-sized banks to set up inclusive finance divisions, a move to increase loans for money-starved small firms, which is the latest native government’s effort to improve links in economy.

European Union

Visa’s Long-Term View On Klarna (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Though the actual terms of the Klarna investment, such as dollar size and the magnitude of the equity ownership stake, remain under wraps, the intent was more clearly shaped in an interview between Karen Webster and Bill Gajda, SVP of Innovation and Strategic Investments at Visa following the announcement.

This is Visa, after all, so … think credit — but transactional credit extended at the online point of sale. Think payments, but not just card-based payments, since Klarna today is a pay-by-bank account model. Think cards, but digital ones, accounts issued digitally by the Bank of Klarna.

That comes against a backdrop where Klarna’s transactions grew more than 50 percent over 2015 and volume was up 44 percent in Europe, driven by mobile commerce.

International

Fintech VC Funding on the Decline: What Next? (TechBullion), Rated: AAA

According to a call co-hosted by Lawrence Wintermeyerof Forbes and Peter Rentonof LendIt, fintech venture funding has declined both in the U.S and the U.K.

In 2016, venture funding for fintech in the US fell by 13% to $6.2 billion. Much of this decline is attributable to poor performance by lending platforms coupled with a contraction of investment as venture capital firms went slow on investments to figure out what would be the most profitable fintech investment in future.

The situation in the UK was not any better as there was even a greater decline in VC fintech investment during the same year, 2016. The sector attracted only $834 million worth of investment, translating to a 38% decline.

Despite the general decline in fintech VC funding, some sectors are still thriving. For instance, the payments subsector has witnessed sustained growth. Similarly, Insurtech is flourishing especially as far as seed investment is concerned.

Fintech enterprise solutions have increased with innovations around machine learning, distributed ledger, big data and cloud heralding the entry of global tech giants into the fintech sector.

How the FinTech revolution is changing the regulatory approach (Fintastico), Rated: A

Some national authorities have chosen to regulate fintech companies through preexisting frameworks. This mean using the same set of rules previously applied to all financial and banking institutions. Other authorities have preferred introducing specific and tailored regulations for fintech companies with the aim of adapting the system to the particular needs of the sector and of stimulating the growth of these companies.

Continental Europe

For instance, Germany does not have specific regulations for fintech credit platforms. In other words, a fintech credit company must be granted a banking license to pursue a credit activity; however, it must ascertain what type of service the business is providing to verify if the business offer might qualify as a regulated activity under general German financial regulatory laws.

As in Germany, the Netherlands does not have specific regulations for fintech companies. In the Netherlands, a fintech credit platform must obtain a regular license for credit activity from the Dutch Central Bank (“DNB”) and the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (“AFM”) before providing credit to customers.

Several authorities have created specific and tailored regulations for fintech companies by introducing new licenses for fintech platforms. For instance, one of the most customized and effective one is in Switzerland. The national policymakers have introduced a new licensing category for fintech companies. This regulation would give the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (“FINMA”) the chance to analyze the fintech platforms individually and to tailor the appropriate regulation according to the activity they pursue.

China

The core of the regulatory framework is represented by the Guiding Opinions on Promoting the Sound Development of Internet Finance and the Provisional Rules for the Administration of the Business Activities of Online Lending Information Intermediary Institutions, respectively were amended by the People’s Bank of China and the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) with the assistnace of other authorities. However, there is something unusual characterizing the Chinese approach in the way it conceives fintech credit platforms as being essentially information intermediaries rather than credit intermediaries.

English-speaking countries

Some jurisdictions, such as United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore have introduced a different kind of approach to regulate fintech service providers. Using the innovative approach dubbed “regulatory sandbox”, fintech providers offer their products or services to a limited group of customers to minimize the risks, allowing them to test the market without any risk or regulatory sanctions.

United States 

Fintech providers in the United States are not subject to a fintech-specific regulatory framework. However, fintech providers are subjected to numerous and fragmented federal and state licensing or registration requirements depending on the activities of the company, and are also subject to laws and regulations at both the federal and state levels. Such complexity has appeared as an obstacle to the expansion and growth of the entire sector because it may subject fintech companies, looking to expand their business across the U.S., to regulation and supervision by the laws and regulations of different regulators.

FinTech players are taking away the remittance business from banks (Moneymail), Rated: A

Commercial banks remain the most expensive channel for sending money, pricing their services at 11.12%, while a post office is the least expensive channel (5.88%). As for money transfer operators, they were able to decrease the price of sending money to 6.24%.

Non-bank providers charge an average of 0.9% on £10,000, which is 4 times less than the average for banks.

 

Australia

Advisers quit big banks, AMP as watchdog intensifies scrutiny (The Australian), Rated: AAA

Financial advisers are deserting the major lenders, voting with their feet as the corporate watchdog heightens its scrutiny of the controversial cross-selling of wealth products in the “vertically integrated” lenders.

The big four banks and AMP, which control nearly half of all financial advisers in Australia, have bled more than 400 advisers in the last six months, according to Bell Potter analyst Lafitani Sotiriou.

Mr Sotiriou believes the rush for the exit has been caused by major banks limiting the freedom of their advisers to recommend products offered by rivals.

In the past six months, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ, NAB and AMP have lost nearly 2 per cent of their market share in the country’s advisers.

SocietyOne’s lending tops $ 300 million, bucking personal credit weakness (The Sydney Morning Herald), Rated: A

SocietyOne will on Monday report its total loans arranged since it launched in 2012 have exceeded $300 million, with new lending in the first half of 2017 up 67 per cent on a year ago.

Rival P2P lender RateSetter has also funded about $130 million of loans since its inception in late 2014, according to its website, a figure that has roughly doubled since December.

Canada

Power Corp. venture capital fund plays the long game (Montreal Gazette), Rated: A

Faced with a changing market, one of Montreal’s largest companies is using an in-house venture capital fund to give it access to new technologies and new ideas.

Power Corp. of Canada (TSX: POW) runs some of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the country, it’s a market where new, technologically-enabled computers are emerging.

Last October, through three of its subsidiaries, Power launched Portag3, a venture capital fund that invests in fintech startups.

Last October, through three of its subsidiaries, Power launched Portag3, a venture capital fund that invests in fintech startups.

Middle East

FinTech comes to the fore in the GCC (Gulf Business), Rated: AAA

It’s an industry that is blossoming in earnest across the world, with investments worth $7.7bn taking place in China last year, $6.2bn in the US, and $1.5bn in the UK. It’s an industry that was valued at a staggering $867bn in 2016.

To date, the Middle East has accounted for only a small proportion of this, with regional FinTech companies expected to raise $50m in 2017, according to a report by Wamda Research Lab and Payfort – a marked improvement on last year’s $18m. In total, the report shows that only $100m has been raised in the past 10 years, while a 2016 report by FinTech Week said less than 0.1 per cent of global FinTech investments originated in the Middle East.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor