Tuesday November 13 2018, Daily News Digest

Mixed Fintech Earnings

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi sees $12M loss in Q3. RealtyShares not seeking new deals, lays off employees. Nested raises 120M GBP. Nubank partners with Tencent. LendingClub sets up shop in Lehi. Today’s main analysis: Earnings recap for Enova, GreenSky, LendingClub, OneMain, and OnDeck. Today’s thought-provoking articles: LendingTree personal loan offers report for October 2018. Online lenders gain from […]

Mixed Fintech Earnings

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

Other

News Summary

United States

Online Lender SoFi Sees $ 12M Loss In Q3 (PYMNTS) Rated: AAA

Online lender Social Finance (SoFi) continues to struggle, recording an adjusted loss of around $12 million during the third quarter before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The FinTech company has now recorded losses for the second consecutive quarter. In August, it posted a second quarter loss of about $200 million.

According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the earnings losses follow an adjusted profit of $56 million in Q3 of 2017. Loan volume has fallen for two straight quarters under Anthony Noto, who took over as CEO in March. In fact, the company revealed in an investor letter that it had extended around $2.5 billion in refinanced student, unsecured consumer and mortgage loans in the third quarter, falling nearly 30 percent from the same period a year ago.

RealtyShares Is the Latest Casualty of Real Estate Finance Disrupters (Propmondo) Rated: AAA

One of these companies was ReatlyShares. Started in 2013 they raised $58 million from leading venture capital firms and started connecting investors with projects with as little as a $1,000 investment minimum. Five years later the company is announcing that they are laying off most of their employees and are no longer seeking new deals. The exact reason for the demise is still uncertain but a few factors could have contributed.

FinTech Earnings Recap (Peer IQ) Rated: AAA

We analyze the earnings of Enova (ENVA), GreenSky (GSKY), LendingClub (LC), OneMain (OMF) and OnDeck (ODK). All lenders delivered high-double digit revenue growth YoY. ENVA’s revenues grew 35% YoY, and GSKY’s revenue grew 29% YoY, albeit from a low base. Originations also grew by double digits YoY, with originations at GSKY growing by 33% YoY.

Lenders have raised their borrowing rates, although well below the rate of Fed Rate increases leading to margin compression. In the last 12 months, LendingClub, for instance, has raised interest rates across the credit spectrum by between 49 bps and 114 bps, while the Fed has raised short-end rates by 100 bps. The flattening yield curve is raising the cost of borrowing on lenders’ credit facilities which are benchmarked to short-term interest rates. Overall, lenders and investors are experiencing margin compression. By contrast, large banks continue to issue deposits at ultra-low rates (< 6 bps for large money center banks) and have benefitted from rising rates.

Source: PeerIQ

Stock price performance post earnings has been good in a relatively volatile market. Margin compression at GreenSky disappointed investors and the stock slid by over 35% after earnings. All other stocks gained post earnings with OnDeck up by nearly 33%.

Enova Earnings

  • Enova’s revenues grew by 35% YoY to $294 Mn and net income was $15 Mn, compared to a loss in Q3 2017.
  • Loans grew by 32% to $1 Bn, and originations grew by 23% YoY to $0.7 Bn driven by 28% YoY growth in the US subprime business. 31% of Enova’s new originations in the first nine months of 2018 came from new customers. This was the highest proportion of originations from new customers since 2004, demonstrating a large untapped market as Enova expands.
  • Loan loss reserves increased by 44% YoY to $0.2 Bn. Enova is seeing charge-off rates increase from near cycle lowsCharge-offs in Q3 were $141 Mn, up by 53% YoY. The company noted that charge-offs on new customers are roughly three times those on recurring customers, and the company evaluates every loan decision based on the lifetime expected value of that customer.
  • Enova had $164 Mn in cash and equivalents and $951 Mn in debt outstanding at the end of Q3. Enova issued $375 Mn of seven-year notes at 8.5%, which were used to retire existing 9.75% notes and added a new two-year $150 Mn secured facility points to grow the near prime installment product. The company also priced its inaugural $125 Mn NetCredit term securitization at a blended fixed cost of 6%.

GreenSky Earnings

  • GreenSky’s revenues grew by 29% YoY to $114 Mn and net income increased by 20% YoY to $46 Mn. It was GreenSky’s second quarter with more than $100 Mn in revenues and $50 Mn in EBITDA.
  • GSKY had record originations this quarter of $1.4 Bn, up by 33% YoY. GreenSky’s portfolio is focused on home-improvement borrowers and the company is looking to expand into elective healthcare and e-commerce financing.
  • 30+ day delinquencies decreased marginally to 1.44%.
  • GreenSky had $294 Mn of cash and cash equivalents and $387 Mn in term loans. Funding commitments from bank partners increased by $3.5 Bn QoQ to $11 Bn. GreenSky’s bank partners are charging higher funding spreads. GreenSky has not been able to completely offset this increase by passing on higher rates to borrowers.
  • The investor presentation is here.

LendingClub Earnings

  • LendingClub delivered another quarter of record revenue of $185 Mn, an increase of 20% YoY. LC’s net loss was $23 Mn, up from $7 Mn YoY.
  • LendingClub announced a partnership with Intuit to offer loans to TurboTax customers by directly accessing their tax records. It’s a smart deal. The partnership enables LendingClub to keep customer acquisition costs low and also use alternative data to underwrite borrowers.
  • Originations grew by 18% YoY to $2.9 Bn, the highest quarterly originations at LC. Net interest income was offset by fair value adjustments on loans of $20 Mn while the structured program generated revenues of $6.3 Mn, the highest to-date.
  • Over the last 12 months LC has continued to tighten credit to reduce portfolio charge-off rates. The table below shows the QoQ change in the return and charge-off estimates across grades. Projected returns for grade A increased by 91 bps QoQ.
    Source: Peer IQ and LendingClub

     

  • LendingClub ended the quarter with $514 Mn of cash and equivalents and no unsecured debt. LendingClub held about $459 Mn in loans on the balance sheet, most of which will be used future securitization programs. The CLUB Certificates program has raised more than $1 Bn in capital. LC issued a $270 Mn prime securitization this quarter.
  • The investor presentation is here.

OneMain Earnings

  • OneMain reported revenue growth of 15% YoY to $933 Mn and net income more than doubled YoY to $148 Mn.
  • Originations this quarter were $2.9 Bn, of which 54% were secured, and receivables grew by 10% YoY to $15.8 Bn. OMF generated interest income of $933 Mn, up from $808 Mn YoY. OMF’s receivables portfolio yielded 23.7%, up from 23.4% YoY.
  • 30 to 89-day delinquencies were 2.3% and 90+ delinquencies were 2.0%, near all-time lows. Provisions for loan losses increased by 5% YoY to $0.3 Bn and the total loss reserves increased by 1% to $0.7 Bn. The net charge-off rate dropped to an all-time low of 5.8%.
  • OMF had $1.2 Bn of cash and cash equivalents and revolving conduit facilities of $5.8 Bn at the end of Q3. 50% of the company’s debt is secured. In 3Q, OMF net issued $700 Mn in unsecured notes and $900 Mn in ABS. Moody’s revised One Main’s outlook to positive.
  • The investor presentation is here.

OnDeck Earnings

  • Revenues at OnDeck grew by 23% YoY to $103 Mn, the first time that quarterly revenue exceeded $100 Mn. OnDeck also delivered net income of $10 Mn.
  • OnDeck launched ODX, a Software-as-a-Service company, that will provide underwriting services to banks. ODX has already been working with JP Morgan and also announced a partnership with PNC. OnDeck is investing $15 Mn in strategic growth initiatives, two-thirds of which will be in ODX in 2019.
  • OnDeck’s originations grew by 22% YoY to an all-time high of $0.6 Bn and the loan book grew by 16% to $1.1 Bn. OnDeck has navigated the rise in interest rates well with the Effective Yield on its portfolio rising by 340 bps YoY to 36.5% and the NIM increasing by 400 bps to 33%.
  • OnDeck’s provision for loan losses decreased by 1% YoY to $40 Mn, while the loss reserve increased by 27% YoY to $134 Mn. Net charge-off rate decreased significantly from 16.9% to 11.1% YoY. The 15+ Day Delinquency Ratio dropped to an all-time low of 6.4% from 7.5% YoY.
  • ONDK’s total debt was $771 Mn and cash and cash equivalents were $71 Mn at the end of Q3. OnDeck’s cost of funds dropped by 40 bps YoY to 6%. OnDeck closed an additional $175 Mn in credit facilities.
  • The investor presentation is here.

LendingTree Personal Loan Offers Report – October 2018 (LendingTree) Rated: AAA

Despite a rising rate environment, offered APRs ticked down for borrowers with lower scores, but are up for those with higher scores.  Rate and loan amount offers varied widely among consumers, depending on factors including, but not limited to, credit score, income, and current debt obligations.

Source: LendingTree

 

Source: LendingTree

 

Source: LendingTree

Online lending: US fintechs gain from behaving more like banks (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

When Noah Breslow rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange in the week before Christmas 2014, it was a high point — perhaps the high point — for the fledgling online lending industry.

OnDeck’s peak-to-trough decline in its share price was 86 per cent; Lending Club’s was 90 per cent. However much the companies protested that slower top-line growth was actually a positive — implying that they were being more selective on lending — investors were unpersuaded.

Mr Breslow is happier with the investor mix now and how results are received. In the second quarter, for example, OnDeck reported a slight fall in loan originations, from $591m to $587m. But investors welcomed a relatively low net charge-off rate — a measure of bad debt — of 11.2 per cent, from 18.6 per cent a year earlier.

Silicon Valley company setting up shop in Silicon Slopes (Daily Herald) Rated: AAA

LendingClub, an online credit marketplace based in San Francisco, announced last week that it will expand outside of California and open a second corporate office in Lehi.

“This area was the clear No. 1 choice,” said Steve Allocca, LendingClub president. He explained that the area’s access to a skilled labor force and tech talent was important. “We love the area for its tech focus, and we’re excited to tap into that talent pool.”

Jason Brown of Tally (Lend Academy) Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • The story behind the founding of Tally.
  • Why they thought 20 years out when starting Tally.
  • How their app works to help save people money on their credit card debt.
  • How their automated risk management works.
  • Why they built all of their technology from scratch.
  • How their new feature called Tally Advisor, the robo-advisor for debt, works.
  • Why Jason believes that debt consolidation loans do not solve the underlying problem.
  • The behavior they have seen with their customers.
  • How their business model works.
  • Why they decided to go with a more traditional underwriting model.
  • The amazing percentage of customers they retain every month.
  • Why they decided to go state by state when it comes to loan licenses.
  • Why the second generation of fintech is about true technology innovation.
  • How they are funding their lines of credit.
  • Who Jason views as the competitors of Tally.
  • What is next for Tally.

5 Business Loans you can get 24/7 (Nav) Rated: A

3. P2P Lenders –The term “peer to peer” is exactly what it seems. If you’re looking to apply for a loan completely online, you might want to consider any of the many lending groups available that specifically offer consumer-funded loans to any type of small business or sole proprietorship. Loan amounts vary from $2,000 to $500,00, and while many of the companies require at least two years of sales records, some (like Funding Circle) have low sales revenue requirements.

4. Invoice Financing – New to the business lending game is what is known as “instant invoice payments” or “invoice financing” services.

AFR Pays Agent Fees for VA Loans (PR Newswire) Rated: A

American Financial Resources, Inc. (AFR) announces that beginning on Veterans Day it will pay any required VA agent fees for its brokers and correspondents on all AFR-related VA loan submissions.

The Veterans Administration generally requires an annual fee of $100 per third party originator for each entity that sponsors their origination. AFR will now pay this fee on behalf of its brokers and correspondents on AFR-related VA loans.

Elevate Appoints Company and Industry Veteran as Chief Credit Officer (Business Wire) Rated: B

Elevate Credit, Inc. (NYSE: ELVT) (“Elevate” or the “Company”), a tech-enabled provider of innovative and responsible online credit solutions for non-prime consumers, today announced that it has appointed David Peterson as Chief Credit Officer, effective immediately.

Peterson’s background includes 15 years’ experience in financial services, primarily in credit risk. He joined the company in 2010 and has held a number of roles of increasing responsibility in areas including credit strategy, risk, portfolio management and fraud. Previously he was with Americredit Financial Services. He holds a BBA in Finance and an MBA from the M.J. Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University.

Lending Platform Unchained Capital Boosts Security for Crypto Loans (BlockTelegraph) Rated: B

Unchained Capital, the crypto lending platform, is boosting security for crypto-backed loans. They have partnered with Citadel SPV, who provides governance, administration, and accounting solutions. The solution includes Multisig components. Multi-institution features will add to the security.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending market is massive. Cision PR Newswire projects a US $897.85 billion P2P lending market by 2024 in a recent report. Can crypto startups make a splash in this burgeoning market?

Finitive Taps CEO Of First Associates As Strategic Advisor (SYS-CON Media) Rated: B

Finitive (www.finitive.com), a financial technology platform providing institutional investors with direct access to alternative lending investments, announced today that David Johnson, CEO of First Associates, has joined its advisory board.  First Associates is the fastest growing loan servicer in the country and a leader in the application of AI strategies in private credit markets. As an industry leader in the loan servicing and fintech sectors, Johnson will advise Finitive on artificial intelligence, strategic initiatives and operations.

United Kingdom

Nested, the online estate agent that makes home sellers “chain-free”, raises further £120M (TechCrunch) Rated: AAA

Nested, the London-based “data-driven” estate agency that provides a cash advance to help you buy a new home before you’ve sold your old one, has raised a further £120 million in funding. The new round is a mixture of equity and debt: £20 million and £100 million, respectively. Leading the equity round is Northzone, and Balderton Capital, while the debt finance comes from an unnamed institutional investor.

It is noteworthy that Balderton has only just invested in Nested  several rounds into the company’s existence, considering that the London-based venture capital firm typically invests earlier at Series A. Balderton is also a backer of GoCardless, the payments company previously co-founded by Nested founder Matt Robinson. That said, Balderton General Partner Tim Bunting did invest in Nested in a personal capacity very early on.

LendInvest Sees Opportunity in Buy to Let Outside London (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

LendInvest, an online marketplace for mortgages, has published the latest LendInvest Buy-to-Let Index report. The quarterly BTL Indes reviews 105 postcodes in England and Wales ranking four different characteristics: Rental Price Growth, Rental Yield, Transaction Volume, Capital Value Growth.

According to LendInvest, key findings for this most recent report indicate:

  • Colchester (#1) again tops the charts as number one spot for BTL investment
  • Stockport (#2) overtakes regional leader Manchester (#3), followed closely by Leeds at #11 signaling the increasing scope of investment opportunity in the North
  • Midlands and Central England postcodes continue to climb the table as Wolverhampton (#7) and Peterborough (#8) break into the Top 10
  • South Eastern cities lose momentum as long-term table topper Luton falls to #10 place
Source: Crowdfund Insider
Source: Crowdfund Insider

Starling Bank keeps you posted with Post Office (Fintech Future) Rated: A

Starling Bank, which is now offering Banking-as-a-Service and payment services white label offerings, has partnered with the Post Office to allow Starling current and business account customers to deposit and withdraw cash through the Post Office’s branches.

Starling has been a mobile-only bank so far, and has been renowned for that fact alone, compared to banks like Monzo and Revolut. This move, although still not offering full in-branch services, does set it apart by allowing cash deposits. It had already been announced earlier in the year.

China

Chinese government faces peer-to-peer lending scandals dilemma (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

In late 2015, investors in one of China’s largest peer-to-peer lending companies, Ezubao, found themselves unable to retrieve their deposits. By September the next year, 26 Ezubao employees had been sentenced for effectively running a Ponzi scheme and failing to repay as much as Rmb38bn ($5.5bn) to investors.

China’s P2P lending industry recorded transactions valued at $445bn in 2017, according to Online Lending Club, a data company.

Even this gentle regulation has started to take a toll on P2P lending platforms. Numbers have thinned from 2,205 platforms at the beginning of this year to 1,590 platforms as of this August, according to Online Lending Platform, a website that tracks P2P data. Since the beginning of this year, the iOS app store and certain Chinese Android app stores have begun culling the number of P2P platforms available for download.

Chinese Fintech Pintec Forms Partnership With Beijing Evercare For Installment Financing (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Chinese fintech Pintec Technology Holdings Limited (PINTEC) announced on Monday it has formed a new partnership with Beijing Evercare, a company that provides medical aesthetic treatments and health management service. Pintec reported that it will provide Beijing Evercare with an efficient and customized installment payment solution, enabling Beijing Evercare to better serve its consumers with installment options.

According to Pintec, Beijing Evercare offers its services to more than 200,000 consumers year, with the majority of its customers are white-collar workers aged 20 to 35, and females aged 36 to 50. Due to the relatively high price of such treatments, many consumers prefer installment payments to lower the financial burden. With Pintec’s customized installment payment solution, consumers of Beijing Evercare can easily apply for installment financing.

European Union

10 Reasons to Attend LendIt Fintech Europe 2018 (Lendit) Rated: A

Here are 10 solid reasons to attend LendIt Fintech Europe:

  1. Meet your new partner. Commercial and Regional bank execs come to identify the best potential fintech partners to help them remain competitive in this new customer-focused digital banking era.
  2. Find your new funding partner.
  3. Hear keynote Des McDaid, Head of UK for Marcus by Goldman Sachs. He’ll be speaking on how Goldman is targeting the masses, and leading innovation in banking.
  4. Expand your family office network and learn how four families and their advisors including are currently allocating into fintech.
  5. Find out what’s next for fintech unicorn Funding Circle from CEO, Samir Desai.
  6. Discover your next big investment opportunity.
  7. Explore the ins and outs of open banking.
  8. Understand how to bring assets to the blockchain with SoFi’s former CTO, June Ou, and take advantage of all the content that the inaugural Blockchain track has to offer.
  9. Source new cutting-edge solutions providers in our 2,500 square metre expo hall.
  10. Maximize your time at the show with our smart networking tools!
International

Nubank announces Tencent as new strategic partner and investor (Fintech Zoom) Rated: AAA

A leader in financial services technology in Latin America, Nubank has just raised a $ 90 million investment from Tencent Holdings Limited (“Tencent”), China’s leading Internet services portal.

With this round, the company reaches about $ 420 million raised in seven rounds of investment since it was founded in 2013.

A leader in financial services technology in Latin America, Nubank has just raised a $ 90 million investment from Tencent Holdings Limited (“Tencent”), China’s leading Internet services portal. With this round, the company reaches about $ 420 million raised in seven rounds of investment since it was founded in 2013.

Five ways banks are responding to the fintech threat (Financial Times) Rated: A

1. Digital attackers – Those in this group consider that the best form of defence is attack. Banks with the most advanced digital strategies, like DBS, have launched their own digital banks to enter new markets or defend their patch.

2. Acquisitions – Hampered by the vast cost and complexity of maintaining their old systems, sometimes banks find it easier to buy or invest in a start-up that has built a digital platform from scratch.

3. Partnerships – Bank bosses complain loudly of an uneven playing field that allows big technology groups to offer financial services without the burdensome regulation that traditional lenders face. That has not stopped some banks teaming up with Big Tech groups.

4. Diversification – While their core payments and lending businesses may be under pressure from digital competitors, some banks are using new technologies to move into new markets.

5. ‘If you can’t beat them, join them’ – Sometimes banks decide that the threat from digital competition is so great that they just have to amend their business models.

Asia

Online fintech marketplace to launch at Singapore FinTech Festival (Channel News Asia) Rated: AAA

An online fintech marketplace, the API Exchange (APIX), will be launched on Wednesday (Nov 14) by the ASEAN Financial innovation Network (AFIN) in a bid to increase financial inclusion in hard-to-reach markets.

The AFIN is spearheaded by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the ASEAN Bankers Association and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.

There are about 1.7 billion adults globally who are unbanked, and one in three of them come from four countries in Asia – China, India, Pakistan and Indonesia, said the managing director of MAS, Ravi Menon, at the opening of the third Singapore FinTech Festival 2018 on Monday.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday January 8 2018, Daily News Digest

marketplace banking

News Comments Today’s main news: Texas regulator sends cease & desist order to BitConnect. UK wins race for tech investment. Tencent licensed to sell mutual funds to WeChat users. Wishfin to raise $50M. FINTQ goes beyond lending. Today’s main analysis: Strategies banks, credit unions must implement this year (a must-read). Today’s thought-provoking articles: How the tech giants are going […]

marketplace banking

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

India

APAC

News Summary

United States

Securities Regulator Issues C&D to UK Based Cryptocurrency Marketplace BitConnect & Planned ICO (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

The Texas State Securities Boardhas issued an Emergency Cease and Desist Order targeting BiConnect, a UK based cryptocurrency platform. BitConnect is planning a new initial coin offering (ICO) later this month and Texas is stating the tokens are unregistered securities.

The Texas regulators say BitConnecthas placed 9.4 million of the coins into the online cryptocurrency marketplace, representing a market value of $4.1 billion as of Jan. 3 and expects to issue a maximum of 28 million coins.

The tech giants are coming for your customers (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Lost in all this was an inescapable fact: Big tech firms like Amazon don’t need a charter to disrupt the banking industry. Indeed, they are already changing it.

Amazon has done more than $1 billion in small-business lending since it first started offering loans. In 2017, it launched Amazon Cash, which effectively allows it to take cash deposits from customers via ubiquitous convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Sheetz. Other tech firms, including Apple and Samsung, offer their own payment apps.

If banks effectively end up as utilities to larger tech firms, they will lose out. McKinsey forecasts manufacturing will produce only 35% of profits in finance, a return on equity of 4.4%. Distribution, meanwhile, will produce 65% of profits, with a return on equity of 20%.

It’s not clear what tech giants have in store next, but they will likely push the limits of traditional finance. It’s not hard to imagine the Bank of Alexa, enabling customers to move money and pay bills just by shouting at the Amazon Echo in their living rooms.

The year of digital is upon us (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

With that, these are our top 10 market structure trends to watch in 2018:

MiFID II soft launches

You’re probably thinking, “It’s not a soft launch—MiFID II is the law of the land now!” That is technically true, of course. And for better or worse, even though the SEC has provided U.S. firms with “no-action relief” from some European rules, Europe’s regulators don’t have the no-action relief lever that U.S. regulators became so fond of using as they implemented Dodd-Frank. However, MiFID II is so wide-reaching and impactful, it is unreasonable to think European regulators can or will crack down on imperfect compliance as the year gets underway.

Active investing is still huge, but passive keeps growing

However, Greenwich Associates research in 2017 found that most portfolio managers see 40% of assets in passive as the limit, compared to today’s 22%—that is a huge opportunity for growth.

Alternative data becomes less alternative

Ninety percent of investors using alternative data today tell Greenwich Associates they’ve see a positive return on their investment.

And while the alpha to be captured via alternative data is set to grow, the sheer quantity of data available to drive investment decisions is growing exponentially faster.

Data matters more than trading

But even in these and other cases where some data is made public, individual market participants can only find real value when also examining trades that failed, RFQs that were lost and orders that never left the blotter. Even equity exchanges will need to up their game, as the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) reporting requirements finally become a reality and MiFID II makes the market more transparent than ever before. Selling data is great, but helping clients to understand what it really means to them is even better. Inject the growing focus on indices (following several notable acquisitions in 2017) as passive investing grows, and things really start to get interesting.

Wealth management comes out of retirement

Robo-advisors are an opportunity, not a threat.

The move to fee-based accounts couldn’t have come at a better time, with this never-ending bull market generating wealth for investors that, in turn, generate fees for their managers. However, if the market decides to correct, as baby boomers pull out more money than millennials put in, this party might not last forever.

Podcast 133: Rosemary Kelley of Kroll Bond Rating Agency (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • How KBRA got started and how their focus has evolved.
  • When marketplace lending first got on Rosemary’s radar.
  • What made KBRA comfortable enough to be able to provide their first rating in the space.
  • How KBRA has become the leader in rating unsecured consumer lending deals.
  • What has been driving the growth of securitization in marketplace lending.
  • What does the tightening of spreads tell us about investor appetite.
  • How platforms creating their own shelf has changed how these deals get done.
  • Why the deals that have breached their triggers have not tempered investor demand.
  • Some best practices for a platform doing their first securitization.
  • What leads to KBRA deciding to upgrade a deal.
  • Rosemary’s thoughts on the macro environment and how it will impact consumer credit.
  • What platforms can do to mitigate a slow down in securitization markets.
  • What Rosemary thinks about the competitive environment in marketplace lending.

Roostify’s Rajesh Bhat: ‘We’re still in the first quarter of the online mortgage game’ (Tearsheet), Rated: A

Why did you enter the digital mortgage space?
That first year, we spent the entire year looking for a home to buy and it was an entirely painful and traumatic experience. Born out of that was the idea behind Roostify. That’s where we began building out the solution we have today.

Why are mortgages so hard to digitize?
The eligibility aspect is complex. Once eligibility is determined, the fulfillment process is equally complex — if not more. Those two things coupled with the fact that on a normal year over half the mortgages issued have a real estate transaction integrally tied to the mortgage transaction make it very complex.

Where are we in the evolution of the digital mortgage?
If this is a four quarter game, we’re still in the first quarter. The evolution has been, and will continue to be, driven by the consumer. Banks recognize that consumers are willing to do certain tasks themselves to drive this process. Companies are launching now that really understand the consumer pain points and they’re delivering to that as opposed to banks’ pain points.

YieldStreet brings new opportunities to smaller investors (Bankless Times), Rated: A

Rather than cut a $20,000 check to access one opportunity, what if you could use that amount to diversify across 30 deals? Mr. Mehere asked himself that question back in 2014 when consumer P2Ps, small business financing platforms and real estate companies were gaining footholds online.

YieldStreet launched in April 2015 with 80 investments across various asset classes. The idea has proven attractive to retail investors, from whom they have raised $240 million.

They have returned more than 100,000 individual payments and in excess of $80 million in principal and interest to investors. 15 of the original 80 investments have fully matured without a loss.

Wells Fargo’s 2017 Silver Lining Is Drop in CFPB Complaints (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Complaints lodged against the lender with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau through Dec. 15 dropped 18 percent from the same period of 2016, the steepest decline among major banks, federal figures show. Still, it remained first among that group in total complaints.

Source: Bloomberg

Seven of the 10 biggest banks by U.S. deposits experienced a drop in CFPB complaints compared with the 2016 period, including Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Bank of America Corp.

10 Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Loans (Quicken Loans), Rated: A

You might have a million questions running through your head. Luckily, we reached out to the experts at RocketLoans to answer these 10 frequently asked questions about personal loans.

What Is a Personal Loan?

Also known as an “unsecured loan,” a personal loan isn’t backed by collateral like a mortgage or car loan.

What Is a Personal Loan with Collateral?

If you don’t have a credit score that’s between the 600 and 700+ range that most personal lenders look for, some lenders might offer you a secured personal loan, also known as a collateral loan.

How Much Can I Borrow and How Long Can I Borrow?

Depending on the lender and your personal financial situation, personal loans can average between $5,000 and $15,000, with a maximum of $35,000 and terms between 24 and 60 months.

What Is an Origination Fee, and How Much Is It?

An origination fee can range from 1% to 6% depending on the lender and, like your interest rate, is based on your credit and length of the loan. Like the interest rate, the higher the credit score, the lower the origination fee.

Chord of Confidence: Making Real Estate Agents Look Like Rock Stars (RISMedia), Rated: A

Quicken Loans is the largest online mortgage lender and the second-largest retail mortgage lender in the United States, according to Inside Mortgage Finance.

Putting Agents at the Center of the Transaction
To make the mortgage process better for consumers, Quicken Loans executives turned their attention to working hand-in-hand with real estate agents, their most powerful ally, says Tom Dempsey, divisional vice president of Business Development with Quicken Loans.

The centerpiece of this effort: MyQL Agent Insight, a custom back-end platform that increases loan visibility by letting agents see exactly where their client stands in the loan approval process.

Service, Technology Part of a Broader Culture
What exactly makes Quicken Loans different from its competitors? It starts with the company’s culture of service and the many “ISMs,” or ideals, the company strives to work and live by, Dempsey says.

Some of the standout ISMs include “Do the right thing,” “Every second counts,” and “Simplicity is genius.”

Q-text
A texting service that allows agents to receive text updates on the status of their clients’ loans, keeping agents up-to-date on each step in the process while they’re on-the-go.

Elevating the Consumer Experience
Quicken Loans has evolved in its 33-year history as a direct lender.

In its first full year of operation, Rocket Mortgage funded more than $7 billion of the record $96 billion in total closed loan volume in 2016 for Quicken Loans.

Rocket Mortgage clients have gone from application to closing in as little as eight days on refinance loans, and 16 days on the purchase side, according to internal data. In contrast, the industry’s average closing time on new purchase loans is about 45 days.

President of the Jason Mitchell Group at My Home Group Real Estate in Scottsdale, Ariz., Mitchell has closed more than 900 transactions and over $215 million in sales volume since 2012. More than 65 percent of that business came from clients who used Quicken Loans, Mitchell says.

Source: RISMedia

FormFree’s AccountChek Asset Report Meets Underwriting Guidelines for VA Loans (PR Newswire), Rated: A

FormFree today announced that asset reports generated by its AccountChek® automated asset verification service meet all underwriting guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for loans guaranteed by its Loan Guaranty Service. The announcement follows the VA’s December 29, 2017 release of Circular 26-17-43, which was issued in response to increasing lender interest in automated verification of borrower assets for VA loans.

AccountChek eliminates the burden of gathering asset documents for loans by letting consumers easily and securely transmit their online banking, retirement and investment account data for automated analysis. In just minutes, AccountChek delivers asset data to lenders in a standardized report along with a ReIssueKey that enables secure and streamlined sharing with the secondary market. The result is an easier, safer and more accurate process that closes loans up to 20 days faster, provides a better borrower experience and circumvents a host of common “hiccups” that plague manual asset verification.

4 Best Investments To Make In 2018 (Forbes), Rated: A

#1: The Stock Market

One company I always suggest is Betterment. With Betterment, your money can be invested in ETFs and they don’t charge a fee for managing these for you. Plus, they actually pick the ETFs you invest in based on your appetite for risk, investing goals, and other factors.

Plus, there are a multitude of other “robo-advisors” to choose from.

#2: Peer-to-Peer Lending

A second place to stash some of your excess cash this year is in peer-to-peer lending platforms like Lending Club and Prosper. With these companies, you’re able to loan money to individuals in small increments as if you were the bank. The best part is, you get to earn a pretty decent rate of return – usually upward of 6% or more.

#3: Real Estate

One option I’m really excited about is a company called Fundrise. Fundriseoffers an investing scenario similar to the one above. They buy commercial properties and allow investors to invest small sums of money. Obviously, this is yet another hands-off investment. You may own part of a commercial real estate project, but you don’t even see or deal with the property itself.

Like Lending Club, Fundrise requires an upfront sum of around $1,000 to get started.

Fundrise claims its returns have averaged between 8.76% up to 12.42% over the last five years.

Payday Loan Mogul Trades Ferrari-Racing Life for Prison Term (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Scott Tucker says he’s a pioneering self-made man who, without a college degree, founded successful businesses in a variety of fields and contributed billions of dollars to the U.S. economy. A judge says he’s an unrepentant fraud and sentenced him to almost 17 years in prison.

Jurors found the men guilty of collecting unlawful debts, using misleading contracts and falsely stating that the businesses were owned and operated by Native American tribes. That bogus claim helped them get around state laws that prohibited the business practices, the U.S. said. The scam ran from 1997 to 2013, Castel said.

From 2008 to 2012 alone, Tucker victimized 4.65 million people, according to prosecutors, collecting $1.3 billion in illegal interest payments as some people paid a total of almost $1,000 to settle a $300 loan.

Ad Valorem! The Future of Niche Reserve Based Value Investing and Lending is Here (Huffington Post), Rated: A

Valorem Foundation, the community peer-to-peer platform for multi-party transactions, is launching soon. It is a new blockchain-based platform that allows users to exchange value via smart contracts. Once on the platform, users can borrow, lend, invest, transfer, and exchange money between each other, creating a trust-based platform that removes the need for 3rd-party services or external vendors.

One of Valorem’s products, the Microloan, has been quite successful because of the platform’s risk distribution system and foundation on smart contract-based functionality. Its feature of spreading loan default risk over multiple people forces people in the Valorem community to make smarter choices about buying products like cars, student loans, and insurance.

Marine Corps Vet Earns OnDeck Small Business Spotlight (Guru Focus), Rated: B

OnDeck (NYSE: ONDK), the leader in online lending to small business, today announced that digital agency Majestyk Apps, led by Marine Corps veteran Donald Coolidge, has been selected as the OnDeck Small Business of the Month for January 2018.

United Kingdom

UK shrugs off Brexit worries by winning race for technology investment (Express.co.uk), Rated: AAA

Venture capital funding in UK technology firms was nearly £3billion, more than double the amount invested in Germany and France combined.

London technology drew the most. Its £2.45billion was more than the other top 10 cities put together, according to funding database Pitchbook for London & Partners figures.

Fintech, or financial technology, attracted £1.34billion in venture capital funding, with TransferWise and Funding Circle investment, while artificial intelligence companies raised a record £488million, more than double 2016.

Brexit cynics were wrong about London’s fintech companies (Quartz), Rated: A

Below the surface there are reasons to be concerned, but the data so far looks positive. UK companies raised $7.7 billion last year, more than double that of 2016, according to Dealroom. Fintech companies raked in $2.9 billion, the biggest share. TransferWise raised £211 million ($286 million) while Funding Circle took in £81.9 million, according to lobby group London & Partners.

Source: Quartz

Attitudes across Europe are diverging. While the UK is the No. 1 destination for investment, entrepreneurs in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg (Benelux) are substantially more positive about the future of Europe’s tech scene than their peers in Britain: 70% of the former are more optimistic than they were 12 months ago, compared with 42% in the UK and Ireland, according to a survey by venture capital firm Atomico.

Olivier Goy, founder of crowd-lending platform Lendix, says he’s even more positive about France’s potential than he was after the poll.

A risky P2P opportunity for 2018 (MoneyWeek), Rated: A

Returns from investing directly in the biggest platforms, including Zopa, Ratesetter and Funding Circle, averaged 5.4% including losses from defaults, according to analytics firm AltFi Data.

For example, P2PGI moved from a premium of 15% to a discount of 15% – ie, the share price now trades at 15% below the net asset value (NAV) of the fund’s investments.

Funding Circle’s SME Income fund trades at a small premium (around 2%) to NAV, and has delivered returns equivalent to a 5.6% yield on the current share price.

As for bonds, Lendinvest – a property lending platform – issued the first listed retail bond from a P2P platform, raising £50m at a yield of 5.25%. This was well received and is now trading at a small premium of 2%.

China

Tencent gets a licence to sell mutual funds to WeChat’s 1 billion users in China (SCMP), Rated: AAA

The Shenzhen Bureau of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the nation’s top securities watchdog, has given Tencent subsidiary Tengan Funds Sales (Shenzhen) the licence to sell funds directly.

Before gaining the licence, the tech giant was only able to act as a platform for fund houses and third-party fund sales companies to sell their products through qian.qq.com, its online wealth managing platform and its popular instant messaging tool, WeChat. Qian.qq.com is for users to access the service on PC, while a similar service on WeChat is for mobile users.

Also on Thursday, the tech giant launched the promotion of a new service that will allow users to pay their credit card bills via using the money-market funds available on Licaitong, or WeChat’s wealth management app.

Users will avoid having to pay a 0.1 per cent charge on a credit card payment of more than 5,000 yuan (US$770) monthly. Tencent is also offering users cash incentives, capped at 88.88 yuan, for those who use the promotal service until February.

Chinese social network’s stock jumps 47% after it says it’s raising money through cryptocurrency (CNBC), Rated: A

The share price of Chinese social network Renren has almost doubled after the company said it was raising money through a digital currency sale.

The company, headquartered in China and listed on the New York Stock Exchange, saw its stock climb 47.39 percent to $18.32 a share by the close of the U.S. trading session Wednesday.

Renren is looking to raise funds through an initial coin offering (ICO), according to a white paper released Tuesday.

WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

On January 2, 2018, the Shenzhen Securities Regulatory Bureau issued this year’s first fund sales license to internet giant Tencent Holdings, or more specifically Teng An Information Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.

The Nansha District Government Affairs Service Center in Guangzhou introduced “WeChat Police Certified” face recognition technology and issued China’s first WeChat ID card on December 26, 2017.

According to Bloomberg News, insiders said some loans on HNA’s P2P platform Jbh.com have been faced with deferred payment since last November. Jbh.com offers products like fixed income, P2P lending, insurance and funds on its app.

European Union

20 of Europe’s hottest fintech start-ups to watch in 2018 (The Finanser), Rated: AAA

Advanon is an online platform for invoice-financing SMEs. The platform enables SMEs to better manage their cash flows and focus on their core business. Founded in 2015 by Philip Kornmann, Phil Lojacono and Stijn Pieper, Advanon has raised $3.9m in funding so far, including a $3.5m Series A round from Btov Partners, VI Partners and Swisscom Ventures.


Circle is a P2P payments platform founded by Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire. Using the technology – available as an app on iOS and Android devices or even through a Circle app for iMessage – users can send and receive P2P payments with native euro support. Circle also claims to be the first and only cross-border payments platform in the world to make it possible to beam cash from an app into a US bank account at no cost.

Founded by Marc Murphy, Fenergo offers solutions for client life-cycle management, anti-money laundering, regulatory compliance and client data management.

A fast-growing fintech company, ID Finance specialises in online lending in emerging and growing markets.

Regarded as one of Europe’s most valuable fintech firms, Klarnaprovides online payment services for e-commerce sites in order to eliminate the risk for buyer and seller.

Monzo has more than 20,000 current-account holders and the start-up bank has amassed something of a cult-like following in the UK, with almost 500,000 people using its distinctive hot coral cards and thousands more on the waiting list. It was founded in 2015 by Gary Dolman, Tom Blomfield, Jason Bates, Jonas Huckestein and Paul Rippon. Stripe, the payments company founded by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison in San Francisco, joined Goodwater Capital and investor Michael Moritz (through his charitable investment vehicles) in a recent £71m investment round, joining existing investors Eileen Burbidge’s Passion Capital as well as Orange Digital Ventures and Joshua Kushner’s Thrive Capital in the round.

Founded in 2015 by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, Revolut is an app-based banking alternative with a multi-currency card.

TransferMate was founded in 2010 to reduce international payments costs for business customers and has since developed a wide regulatory footprint in Europe. So far, more than $10bn has been sent to more than 100 countries over the TransferMate platform.

TransferWise was founded in 2011 by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, and provides international money transfer.

Wefox, also known as FinanceFox, is a next-generation insurance app built entirely on the Salesforce platform.

Younited Credit wants to build the biggest crowd-lending platform in continental Europe. Currently live in Spain, France and Italy, consumers can borrow between $1,200 and $48,000 without the need to talk to a bank. So far, it has managed more than $600m in loans. Founded by Charles Egly, Geoffroy Guigou and Thomas Beylot, Younited recently raised $47.8m in a Series F funding round led by Zencap Asset Management.

International

33 Strategies Banks and Credit Unions Must Implement in 2018 (The Financial Brand), Rated: AAA

Below are the top 10 trends identified in the Digital Banking Report entitled, “2018 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions,” sponsored by Kony, Inc.. The comprehensive 106-page report is now available here.

1. Improve the Consumer Experience

2. Expand Use of Data and Analytics

Immediate Strategies:

  1. Break down the barriers within your organization that perpetuate data silos. Only after silos are eliminated can advanced analytics be the most effective.
  2. Establish a data analytics function or partner with an outside organization to provide help in improving the actionability of your data.
  3. Replace timed marketing ‘programs’ with ongoing marketing ‘processes,’ leveraging real-time data to take advantage of immediate opportunities.
  4. Test the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) beyond risk and fraud analysis, including offer generation and bundling of services.

4. Embrace Open Banking

Immediate Strategies:

  1. Review existing data privacy mandates and potential changes, determining the risk/benefit appetite for new marketplace opportunities.
  2. Explore data-sharing possibility with fintech and non-financial services firms to be prepared for imminent changes.
  3. Build an API strategy for both third-party data access and potential service offerings outside traditional banking ecosystem.

5. Build Fintech Partnerships

Immediate Strategies:

  1. Foster a top-down culture of innovation, testing and understanding the digital consumer.
  2. Investigate partnerships and/or collaboration with fintech firms for products and processes not currently possible within the banking organization.
  3. Replace all or a portion of legacy systems, integrating new technologies while embracing an agile IT culture. This action step has been put on the back burner for years which is hurting many organizations.
  4. Consider having an online lender power the organization’s online loan application, to using an online lender’s credit model to better underwrite and service bank loan applications.

Marketplace Lending News Roundup – January 6 (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Funding Circle poised for £1bn float from Peer2Peer Finance News – We begin the year with news that Funding Circle is preparing to go public, possibly in Q3.

The Tech Majors are coming? Really? from AltFi – Interesting take from David Stevenson on why Amazon and Google may not come to dominate finance.

How Blockchain Will Revolutionize Invoice-Backed Financing from Let’s Talk Payments – We’re going to hear a lot about blockchain disrupting industries in 2018, here is a take on invoice finance.

Can blockchain technology revive peer-to-peer lending? from American Banker – Blockchain has given rise to a new breed of online lending platforms. Penny Crosman delves into this phenomenon.

VPC continues shift away from P2P with sale of Prosper loans from P2P Finance News – The publicly traded Victory Park fund in the UK has divested its portfolio of Prosper loans.

Finastra bolsters global capital markets team (Asset Servicing Times), Rated: B

Finastra has appointed Pedro Porfirio as global head of capital markets.

Pedro will be responsible for driving the growth of Finastra’s capital markets business line, focusing on treasury, capital markets, and investment management.

Australia/New Zealand

Would you take money advice from a computer? (NZ Herald), Rated: A

Kiwis are set to start getting financial “robo-advice” this year — a move tipped to help those on lower incomes but which some are warning comes with risks.

Investment watchdog the Financial Markets Authority is expected to open applications for exemptions to provide digital advice around KiwiSaver, insurance and mortgages early this year.

Research by the FMA has found most of those who get financial advice in New Zealand have assets of more than $200,000, raising concerns that people with lower incomes and assets are missing out.

India

Consumer loans marketplace Wishfin looks to raise up to $ 50m (Deal Street Asia), Rated: AAA

Online marketplace for consumer loans and other financial products Wishfin will raise up to $50 million in its next round of funding as it looks to make acquisitions in niche segments, a top company official said.

The company claims to have 9 million customers and $3 billion worth of disbursals to date.

Plan to save in 2018? Refer to these new age investment options (siasat.com), Rated: B

The quick returns that one gets through investments in cryptocurrencies have caught everyone’s attention.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending in India currently gives a net return of 18-22 percent to lenders.

People are becoming investors and expanding investment portfolio by investing small ticket size in different startups. Venture Catalysts, India’s first integrated incubator, emerging as largest investor of the year with closing 33 investment in this year.

APAC

PLDT’s fintech unit going beyond lending (Inquirer.net), Rated: AAA

FINTQ, the financial technology (fintech) arm of PLDT and Smart’s Voyager Innovations, disbursed more than P12 billion in new loans through its digital lending platform, Lendr, last year or nearly a third higher than the year-ago level.

With more than the P12 billion disbursed last year, total disbursement has reached about P27 billion since Lendr came to market in 2015, Villanueva said.

With Fintech, Pakistan set to dismantle barriers to branchless banking (Tribune), Rated: A

In an effort to promote fintech, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) – the telecom regulator – has decided to award Third Party Service Providers’ licences by June or July 2018, which will pave way for inter-operability between cellular mobile operators and ramp up financial inclusion all over the country.

At present, Telenor’s Easypaisa, Jazz’s Mobicash and United Bank Limited’s Omni are providing mobile-based branchless banking services. However, their customers cannot transfer money from one service to another.

The new platform will help dismantle existing barriers that prevent digital wallets (branchless bank account-holders) from sending money to different bank accounts. Users will be able to make transactions from wallet to wallet or wallet to the bank account.

Fintech firm Avaloq’s chairman streamlines his role to focus on China expansion and possible listing (SCMP), Rated: B

The chairman of Switzerland-based financial technology company Avaloq will focus on expanding business in China and Asia as well as preparing for a possible stock exchange listing, after handing over his chief executive duties.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday June 9 2017, Daily News Digest

uk house prices election

News Comments Today’s main news: April US consumer credit rises $8.2B. China Rapid Finance targets 3 million new users by end of year. TSB Bank lent $50M unsecured consumer loans through Harmoney. Today’s main analysis: UK house prices fall for three months in a row. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Amazon lent $1B to merchants in last 12 months. SBA enabled on […]

uk house prices election

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

Asia

News Summary

United States

LendingClub Operated Aggregator Note (LOAN) NP I, LLC (SEC), Rated: AAA

On June 1, 2017, representatives of the Company provided us with a computer-generated data file and related record layout containing data, as represented to us by the Company, as of the close of business on May 25, 2017, with respect to 46,766 unsecured consumer loans (the “Statistical Loan File”).
At the Company’s instruction, we randomly selected 115 unsecured consumer loans (the “Sample Loans”) from the Statistical Loan File and performed certain comparisons and recomputations for each of the Sample Loans relating to the unsecured consumer loan characteristics (the “Characteristics”) set forth on the Statistical Loan File and indicated below.
Characteristics
1.          Loan number (for informational purpose only)
2.          Origination date
3.          Original principal balance
4.          Maturity date
5.          Loan term (months)
6.          Borrower interest rate
7.          Contractual monthly payment
8.          State of residence
9.          Current principal balance
10.        FICO score low (at issuance)
11.        FICO score high (at issuance)
12.        Loan age (months)

April US Consumer Credit Rises $ 8.2bn, Weakest Reading For Over 5 Years (Economic Calendar), Rated: AAA

US consumer credit increased $8.2bn in April following a revised increases of $19.5bn which was originally reported as $16.4.bn.

The April increase was lower than consensus forecasts of around $16.0bn and the weakest reading since August 2011.

The annual increase slowed to 2.6% from 6.2% the previous month. Revolving credit slowed to an annual rate of 1.8% from 6.5% previously while there was a slowdown in non-revolving credit to 2.9% from 6.1%.

Amazon has lent $ 1 billion to merchants in an effort to help boost sales (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Amazon.com Inc has stepped up lending to third-party sellers on its site who are looking to grow their business, a company executive said in an interview on Wednesday.

The e-commerce giant has doled out more than $1 billion in small loans to sellers in the past 12 months, compared with more than $1.5 billion it lent from 2011 through 2015, said Peeyush Nahar, vice president for Amazon Marketplace. Sellers have used the money to expand their inventory or discount items on Amazon, he said.

More than 20,000 small businesses have received a loan from Amazon and more than half of those have taken a second loan from the company, it said.

Loans range from $1,000 to $750,000. Sellers have said interest rates are between 6 percent and 14 percent.

Amazon Has Secretly Become a Giant Bank (The Street), Rated: AAA

Amazon.com (AMZN) said Thursday that its Amazon Lending service has surpassed $3 billion in loans to small businesses since it was launched in 2011.

“We created Amazon Lending to make it simple for up-and-coming small businesses to efficiently get a business loan, because we know that an infusion of capital at the right moment can put a small business on the path to even greater success,” Amazon Marketplace VP Peeyush Nahar said.

SBA enabler on sprouting more loans (Banking Exchange), Rated: AAA

When your largest client asks for a favor, you tend to do everything you can to help. For fintech company SmartBiz, that led to completely changing its business model.

The San Francisco-based company began life as an online consumer lender in 2010. However, three years in, the company switched gears to focus on small business lending.

Thus began a transition that culminated in SmartBiz selling off its consumer lending business. In place of that, SmartBiz built a bank-centric marketplace—an “ecosystem” in Singer’s words—in which SmartBiz refers qualified SBA loan applications to a network of banks. Currently the company works with five banks in the U.S.

Banking Exchange: Can you explain further why you made the switch from the consumer loan business to the small business loan market?

Singer: The stores typically needed $50,000 to $200,000, but were having a hard time obtaining financing at a decent rate. When we dove deeper, we found that starting in 2008 with the recession, many banks pulled out of the smaller end of the small business lending market.

They left for many reasons. The main one, though, is that it cost them just as much to originate a $200,000 loan as it did a $2 million loan.

We felt we could convert our existing base technology for use in small business lending. The concept, and what we have been working on since, is three-fold.

• First, it was key that we be able to tap into banks with their low cost of capital to provide well-priced loans to small business. But we had to make it economically feasible for the banks to make these loans, so we developed software that enables banks to auto-underwrite and auto-originate SBA loans quickly and easily.

• Second, small businesses want it to be easy to apply for a loan. SBA loans are typically very difficult to get—they can take months and months. So we made the process easier, automating a lot of the more difficult work, and put it online.

• Third, one of the most important things for a small business is get to a “yes.” So we created the first online SBA loan marketplace, in which we have multiple banks [currently five] looking at the loans.

BE: Do you concentrate on SBA 7(a) loans?

Singer: Yes. We’ve been focused on 7(a) loans in the sub $350,000 market for working capital. About six months ago we launched commercial real estate loans up to $5 million on the platform—also 7(a) loans.

BE: How is the underwriting handled working with the banks in your marketplace?

Singer: Unlike a traditional fintech company, which brings its underwriting model to a bank and says “Use this,” we do the opposite. We take the bank’s underwriting and digitize it. So we customize the underwriting software that each bank uses. That way we can refer the right borrower to the right bank.

BE: What percentage of applications that come into your system don’t make the cut?

Singer: I don’t think we’ve published anything on that. [SmartBiz is a private company.] It would be interesting for a new bank to note, however, that a little over 90% of what we refer to our bank partners they fund.

BE: In general, how do terms and rates in your network compare with others in the online marketplace?

Singer: All of our loans under $350,000 have a ten-year term. Most of the other players in the market—OnDeck or Funding Circle, for instance—are going to have somewhere between a one- and five-year term—most typically it’s two or three years, and at much higher cost. Our average APR is between 7% and 8%—prime plus 275 [basis points], compared with other online marketplace lenders where the average APR is as much as 44%.

BE: Are you reaching out to other potential bank partners?

Singer: Well, I’m not sure we want to add hundreds of banks. We’re picky and choosy about which bank we’re going to add on the platform. They’ve got to be a PLP [Preferred Lending Partner] with the SBA. Essentially the SBA establishes PLP banks as having delegated authority so they can make a loan decision without sending the file to SBA for approval.

What’s critical is that the bank wants to embrace technology; is focused on SBA lending; and has the mindset at the top where they want to partner with a fintech company.

Banks cede market share in auto lending (American Banker), Rated: A

New industrywide data confirms what bank CEOs have been saying for months: The banking sector is retreating in automobile finance.

During the first quarter of 2017, banks provided 32.5% of the financing for U.S. auto loans and leases, down from 34.8% in the same period a year earlier, according to an Experian report.

Attention New Mexico Lenders: New Regulations Coming Soon (Clarity Services Email), Rated: A

New Mexico House Bill 347 overhauls the state’s regulatory oversight of small-dollar lending. If you conduct business in New Mexico, these regulations will apply to you.

Effective January 1, 2018

The  bill includes the following components:

  • Complete Repeal of Payday Lending
  • Dollar Threshold Changes – All loans of $5,000 or less shall be made under the Small Loan Act or the Bank Installment Loan Act.
  • Mandatory Credit Reporting – Loans of $5,000 or less must be reported to a credit reporting agency. We have your back!
  • Limits on Loan Terms – Loans of $5,000 or less:
    • Must not have an APR that exceeds 175 percent.
    • Must have minimum maturity period of at least 120 days.
    • Must be repayable in a minimum of four substantially equal payments.

Fintech Company Raises $ 300 Million to Help Businesses Stop Using Checks (WSJ), Rated: A

AvidXchange Inc., a firm that automates bill-payment processes for businesses, said Thursday that it raised $300 million in equity from a group of new investors to bring its service to new industries, potentially acquire smaller competitors and to expand internationally.

Investors in the funding round include Mastercard Inc., Singaporean state investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd., Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and and Peter Thiel, the investor and co-founder of payments company PayPal Holdings Inc.

Since its founding, Charlotte, N.C.,-based AvidXchange has raised over $500 million, more than amounts raised by Stripe Inc., Credit Karma Inc. and other well-known fintech players.

The latest investment, one of the largest for a fintech company since lender Social Finance Inc. announced a $500-million fundraising in February, values AvidXchange at around $1.4 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

VA Loan Captain Announces Partnership with EXIT Realty (PR Newswire), Rated: A

EXIT Realty Corp. International and VA Loan Captain (www.valoancaptain.com), the #1 VA Loan Marketplace, have announced a partnership to help educate veterans on their VA Home Loan benefit. As part of the partnership, EXIT Realty will offer veterans unbiased educational content in the form of an eBook, The Ultimate Guide to VA Loans, a VA Loan Learning Center on www.exitrealty.com, and a VA Loan Marketplace powered by VA Loan Captain to increase awareness of the 0% down home loan benefit available to all those who have served in the United States Military.

In addition to educating veteran home buyers, beginning on July 4th, 2017, EXIT Realty will also offer VA Loan Captain’s VA Loan Certification (VALC) to all of its agents. The VALC Certification provides real estate agents and lenders comprehensive knowledge of the VA Home Loan benefit to establish themselves as a local expert for the largely untapped military real estate market while simultaneously helping those who served the country.

Reg A+ Crowdfunding Conference Exclusive Savings Inside (Financial Research Associates Email), Rated: B

Exclusive Discount Code: SAVE 25% w/code FMP206
Early Bird Savings End 6/16/17

You are invited to attend July 19-20th at the LA Athletic Club in Los Angeles.

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS INCLUDE:
  • Dara Albright, President, Dara Albright Media
  • Brent Brague, Vice President of Sales, CrowdEngine
  • Craig Denlinger, Managing Partner, Artesian CPA
  • Andres Diana, Managing Director, SeedInvest
  • Peter Duggan, Senior Vice President, Computershare
  • David Gosselin, Principal, DBBMcKennon
  • Samuel Guzik, Founder, Guzik & Associates
  • Charles Kaufman, Counsel, Homeier Law PC
  • Anthony Lin, Founder, Endeavor, PC
  • Darren Marble, Chief Executive Officer, CrowdfundX
  • Gene Massey, Chief Executive Officer, MediaShares
  • Scott Purcell, Founder and CEO, FundAmerica
  • Mark Roderick, Shareholder, Flaster/Greenberg P.C.
  • Chadwick Sahley, CEO, Social Bluebook
  • Jillian Sidoti, Attorney, Trowbridge Sidoti LLP
  • Richard Swart, Chief Strategy Officer, NextGen Crowdfunding
  • Amy Wan, Founder & CEO, Bootstrap Legal

Money360 Closes $ 17 Million Bridge Loan for an Office Property in Morris County, New Jersey (Money360 Email), Rated: B

Loan Details

Loan Type: Bridge
Loan Amount: $17 million
Term: 3 Years

Amortization: Interest Only
Recourse: Non-Recourse
LTV: 72.34%

United Kingdom

UK house prices fall for third month in a row for first time since financial crisis (The Guardian), Rated: AAA

House prices in Britain have fallen for the third month in a row, for the first time since the height of the financial crisis in 2009.

The fall further dragged down the annual growth rate in May, to 2.1%, the lowest in nearly four years, providing further evidence that the housing market is losing steam, according to Nationwide, the UK’s biggest building society.

Its closely watched monthly house price index showed that the average price of a home fell by 0.2% between April and May, to £208,711. This compares with monthly declines of 0.4% in April and 0.3% in March. The annual growth rate of 2.1% is the lowest since June 2013, and compares with 2.6% in April.

The UK’s other main house price index, from mortgage lender Halifax, is also on a downward trend. It showed a 0.1% fall in April, taking the average property price to £219,649 – nearly £3,000 below the peak in December 2016.

Peer-to-peer lenders have their say ahead of election (AltFi), Rated: A

Funding Circle, which recently overtook Zopa as the UK’s largest P2P lender by total lending, said that ensuring continued access to capital for small businesses throughout the Brexit process is critical.

Carmen Dixon, vice-president of PR and Communications at LendInvest, echoed Funding Circle’s sentiments on the British Business Bank.

“Whatever the background or make-up of the new government, we will be urging it progress the (already fairly advanced) commitment made by Theresa May’s government to partner with alternative lenders to lend more,” she said. “That means empowering state-backed vehicles like the British Business Bank to put more money onto alternative lending platforms that will in turn lend more into the economy.”

Meanwhile, RateSetter, one of the UK’s “big three” peer-to-peer lenders, has also called on the next government to be active in its support of the fintech sector:

“The next government must steer the country through a series of huge challenges, not least keeping us safe and managing Brexit.  As it does so, it should make the most of opportunities to get behind businesses so that they can thrive, leading to more jobs, output and economic growth.”

OakNorth, the ‘bank for entrepreneurs,’ lent £300 million last year (Business Insider), Rated: A

Entrepreneur-focused startup bank OakNorth lent £300 million to small businesses last year and is expecting to lend out £800 million in 2017.

OakNorth’s annual accounts, filed with Companies House this week, show the bank made net income from its lending of £7.1 million last year, up from £156,000 in 2015, its first year of operation.

Notable deals include £19 million lent to healthy fast food chain LEON in August to fund expansion.

Lendy to sponsor world-famous sporting event (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: B

The peer-to-peer lending platform will begin sponsoring the world-famous sailing regatta – which will now be called Lendy Cowes Week – from 29th July 2017.

China

China Rapid Finance targets 3 million new users by year’s end (SCMP), Rated: AAA

China Rapid Finance (CRF), the Chinese financial technology business that recently listed in New York, expects to add up to 3 million users on its lending platform this year despite the government’s push to tighten restrictions on the burgeoning online lending sector.

In the first quarter of this year, the company attracted 545,000 new borrowers who obtained credit ranging from 500 yuan to 6,000 yuan (US$73.50 to US$882.50) per transaction.

Why Alibaba is eyeing India’s payments market (The Asset), Rated: AAA

To say digital payment volume in India has grown dramatically over the past few months would be an understatement. Since Modi’s demonetization policy in November 2016 the monthly digital payment volume via India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has increased by almost 2300% as of March 2017.

Most P2P Lending platforms have finished bank depository before the deadline (Xing Ping She Email), Rated: A

China’s p2p regulator requires platforms must finish bank depository before the end of June. Currently, some platforms have signed depository agreement with banks. According to the latest news, Xeenho announced that they have signed the bank depository. The bank depository system docking is undergoing, which is expected to operate online in the late June.

Under the wave of Internet financial compliance, more and more fintech platforms attach importance to bank depository. According to data, 433 normal operating platforms have signed bank depository up to the end of May, accounting for 20.16% of the total. Among these platforms, 221 of them have finished the docking of depository system used online.

In response to the regulatory policy, Xeenho Wallet signed the bank depository to guarantee the independent management between funds of platform and users, so as to eliminate the risk of misappropriation.

Dr. Yang Li, CEO of Xeenho, said that the agreement of bank depository has laid a solid foundation for the future development of the company, and they will continue to proactively response to regulatory policies, aiming at achieving the goal of universal finance.

EZUBAO THE ONLINE LENDER BILKED INVESTORS OF OVER $ 7.6 BILLION (Petro Global News), Rated: A

An online finance company in China bilked its investors of over $7.6 billion, that was spent on lavish gifts, salaries and buried that evidence according to authorities who described it as being a huge Ponzi scheme.

These accusations throw a big shadow over the online China finance industry, a lucrative sector that has nurtured global leaders. However, it is one that authorities are saying also has seen a number of flameouts and frauds.

How late payments help create a billion-dollar market (The Asset), Rated: A

In China, there has been an increase in long-term overdue payments. From 2015 to 2016 the number of corporates experiencing average payment delays of between 90-119 days increased by 25% (from 21% to 26.3%), according to a survey of Chinese corporates, conducted by Coface. The survey also shows that corporates dealing with overdue payments of 150 days or more grew by 60% from 2015 to 2016 (from 9.9% to 15.9%).

In Asia-Pacific (ex-China) invoice trading volume grew from almost nothing in 2013 to a US$116.95 million market in 2015, as noted in the Asia-Pacific Alternative Finance Benchmarking report. Within China, invoice trading in 2015 represented a US$1.46 billion market compared to only US$25.59 million in 2013.

European Union

The Future of Finance (The Portugal News), Rated: A

Crowdfunding and Peer-to-Peer lending appear to be the areas which are bringing real business and willing investors together.

The World Bank has predicted the Crowdfunding industry will be worth $95 billion by 2025 and Goldman Sachs said in a report $1.2 trillion of opportunities could be addressed by Crowdfunding in the coming years.

Camden Town Brewery raised £1.5m in Equity Crowdfunding in July 2015, valuing the business at £28m. By December the company had been bought by AB InBev for £85m, netting investors a healthy return.

International

Peer to Peer Lending Market Expected to Reach $ 460,312 Million, Globally, by 2022 (Digital Journal), Rated: A

According to a new report published by Allied Market Research, titled, Peer to peer Lending by End-User Types and Business Model type: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2014-2022, the peer to peer (P2P) lending market was valued at $26,064 million in 2015 and is projected to reach $460,312 million by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 51.5% from 2016 to 2022. In 2015, small business loans dominated the market, whereas consumer credit loans is anticipated to grow at a robust rate, in terms of market share.

North America is leading the peer to peer lending market, followed by Asia-Pacific.

Asia- Pacific would witness the highest CAGR of 54.1% mainly led by China, owing to emergence of a number of small scale peer to peer lending service providers.

Australia/New Zealand

TSB Bank says it has lent $ 50 mln in unsecured consumer lending through P2P lender Harmoney (Interest.co.nz), Rated: AAA

TSB Bank has finally acknowledged that it’s lending money through peer-to-peer (P2P) lender Harmoney.

The bank has disclosed this in its annual report, released on Friday, saying it has lent $50 million through Harmoney to date.

Heartland Bank, which holds a 12.59% stake in Harmoney, also lends money through the P2P lender. By December 31 last year Heartland had lent $62 million through Harmoney’s online platform. TSB has not disclosed a shareholding in Harmoney.

Report on rapid growth in P2P lending – what does it mean for New Zealand? (Lexology), Rated; A

The key takeaways from the FSB’s report (which can be found here) are:

  • A growing sector: In absolute terms, the largest FinTech credit market is China, followed at a distance by the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • Benefits: The benefits include lower transaction costs, convenience for users, increased credit access for underserved segments of the population or business sectors, and (in relation to financial stability) a lower concentration of credit with traditional banks and more pressure on those banks to increase efficiency.
  • Risks: The risks include: increased financial risk in platforms due to a greater credit risk appetite; untested risk processes and relatively greater exposure to cyber-risks; swings in investor confidence impacting the financial performance of platforms; and (in relation to financial stability) lower lending standards, incumbent banks taking on more credit risk in response to competition, securitisation increasing the connection between traditional and FinTech credit and the challenges posed to the regulatory perimeter.
  • Business models: The nature of activity varies greatly across and within jurisdictions due to the diverse business models used. These models include: the ‘traditional P2P lending’ model (a borrower-lender matching service with the platform often providing a risk assessment); the ‘notary’ model (a matching service where the loan is originated by a partnering bank – Germany and Korea); the ‘guaranteed return’ model (the platform guarantees a return to lenders – prevalent in China); the ‘balance sheet’ model (the platform originates and retains the loans on its own balance sheet – Australia and Canada); and the ‘invoice trading’ model (factoring services to manage cash flow for the start-up and small business segments).
  • Sources of funding: Securitisation capital markets have become an important source of funding for FinTech credit platforms in the US. Cross-border funding is higher in Asia Pacific (ex-China). The average retail investment is around US$8,000 in China but, due to regulatory caps, only €500 in France.
  • Borrowers: The available data suggests that consumer loans are typically in the range of US$5,000 to US$25,000 with the US at the top end of that range. Average loans in China are much larger, at more than US$50,000.
Asia

Path clear for robo advisers in financial services (Nation Multimedia), Rated: A

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has proposed to make it easier for digital advisory services providers to operate by offering some major concessions under the financial regulatory framework.

One is to allow digital or robo advisers operating as fund managers under the Securities and Futures Act to offer their services to retail investors. This could happen even if robo advisers do not meet track-record requirements, as long as they provide certain safeguards.

A MAS consultation paper released on Wednesday proposed that there would not be separate licensing for digital advice. But firms offering these services would have to comply with some safeguards.

One is that portfolios must be diversified and comprise non-complex assets.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor