Wednesday August 15 2018, Daily News Digest

financial assistance

News Comments Today’s main news: Square expands Bitcoin service to all 50 states. Funding Circle says higher rates will help them. Zopa says UK investors likely to hate Marmite. Preview of China Rapid Finance Q2 earnings. Funding Societies hits SGD200M in SME crowdfunding. Today’s main analysis: How non-prime families cover college tuition. Today’s thought-provoking articles: How Goldman Sachs created […]

financial assistance

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United States

Square Expands Cash App Bitcoin Service to All 50 US States (CoinDesk) Rated: AAA

The company – which was co-founded by Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey – announced the service expansion through a Tweet on Monday, months after the firm initially rolled out the bitcoin service to investors in the country.

As reported by CoinDesk, Square officially launched the bitcoin purchasing option on its Cash App in January following a testing phase started last year. However, the service was not offered in the states of New York, Georgia, Hawaii and Wyoming due to their more restrictive regulations regarding bitcoin transactions.

How Non-prime families cover college tuition (Center for the New Middle Class) Rated: AAA

Students from non-prime households are more likely to attend public, community, or junior colleges compared to students from prime households.

  • Consequently, they are more likely to live at home.
  • The majority of these students come from single-parent or homes with a stepparent.
  • Compared to prime parents, non-prime parents are significantly more likely to say that financial aid affected their choice of schools.
  • Non-prime parents are slightly more sensitive to schools welcoming students from diverse economic backgrounds.
  • Students from non-prime families are extremely reliant on financial aid as nine out of ten will use some form of financial assistance to cover college expenses in the Fall 2018, compared to three-quarters of prime students.
  • Access to financial aid is critical for these students because most of them come from single-income households with fluctuating incomes where their parent’s financial situation is precarious and burdened with high levels of debt.

Almost twice as many nonprime students, 42%, attend public/community/jr colleges compared to prime students, 23%.

Source: The Center for the New Middle Class
Source: The Center for the New Middle Class
Source: The Center for the New Middle Class

Read the full report here.

How Goldman Sachs Created Marcus To Be a Dominant Force in Consumer Banking (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

First, there was the launch of GS Bank in April 2016. Six months later Goldman Sachs introducedthe world to their Marcus brand. They began as an online lending platform offering unsecured consumer loans up to $30,000 with interest rates ranging from 5.99% to 22.99% (they now offer loans up to $40,000 and rates range from 6.99% to 24.99% as of August 2018). Their big differentiator was offering no fees. There was no origination fee for the borrower, no prepayment fees and no late fees.

They gained traction very quickly. They crossed $1 billion in total originations within eight month of launch. At the end of their first year they were at $1.7 billion. At that time they brought their deposit business under the Marcus brand, it was formerly branded under GS Bank. Now when you go to the Marcus website you are presented with two options: personal loans and savings accounts (which includes certificates of deposits).

We learned in Goldman Sachs Q2 earnings call in July that Marcus had originated more than $4 billon in total loans since launch and they had 1.5 million customers. Their deposit base is now $23 billion.

Lenmo, the Venmo for Lenders, Set to Launch for IOS (Bank Innovation) Rated: A

Whether it’s a consumer lender like Goldman Sachs’s Marcus or a point-of-sale lender like Affirm or even SMB lenders like BlueVine, there is a lot of perceived opportunity in the lending market.  Add a P2P dimension to that, and you have Lenmo.

The new app is launching in the next few weeks in Apple’s app store, Bank Innovation has learned. Lenmo, founded less than a year ago, is a peer-to-peer app in which the lender can select a borrower as well as set their own interest rate, “which will be higher than most alternative options,” Margaret Cipparone, a Lenmo spokesperson, told Bank Innovation. These individual lenders will facilitate small, unsecured loans ranging from as low as $50 to as high as $5,000, she said.

For borrowers, they can choose the various lenders available on the app and select the one they find most suitable. The goal behind this type of P2P lending service is to cater to the vast underserved market.

Transforming The Small-Business Lending Customer Experience: Kabbage CEO Rob Frohwein (Forbes) Rated: A

In the intervening years since Frohwein and his friends, Marc Gorlin and Kathryn Petralia, started Kabbage “with an idea and a misspelling of cabbage” (a slang term for money), it’s gone on to fund more than 150,000 small businesses, representing a wide variety of industries, with over $5 billion of working capital. And in that time, the goal has evolved, says Frohwein, to “never allowing you to go below zero.” What he means by this is “to keep entrepreneurs away from that pit-of-the-stomach feeling, which I know as a former small business owner myself: Deciding whether to pay vendors first, or make payroll, or invest in marketing, and knowing you need to do all three but it’s going to kill you because your cash flow just isn’t working out. It’s here that Kabbage can step up and help.”

Micah Solomon, Forbes:  I’m interested in how you went about pushing back against the traditional customer experience norms in lending.

Rob Frohwein, Co-Founder and CEO, Kabbage, Inc.: Everyone knows that banks have been underserving small business customers, but our transformational moment came from asking “why?”. It turns out that a large part of the reason is the costly, manual processes that make underwriting small business loans time-intensive and unprofitable. Kabbage’s technology quickly analyzes the live business data of a small business and fully automates the underwriting process, so businesses get an answer and access to capital in minutes, not weeks or months.

And for Kabbage? What’s next for you.  

Another internal saying here is “Let the bakers bake.” A baker didn’t start their business to deal with back-office financing all day long. They want to serve their customers and perfect their craft. We’re in the business of giving small businesses back more time in their day and to remove unneeded friction.

Startup’s mission: Help cash-strapped students finish college (American Banker) Rated: A

Harvard MBAs who want to refinance their student debt have numerous options, including the online lenders SoFi and CommonBond. Ivy Leaguers who need a loan to get through college also have choices, including Discover and Wells Fargo.

But low- or moderate-income students who do not have relatives with sound credit who can co-sign have few options for obtaining the financial help they need to complete college. Many of them are women, who hold nearly two-thirds of outstanding student debt in the U.S. — almost $900 billion as of mid-2018.

Fintech Crowd Dives Into Subprime Credit-Card Lending (The Wall Street Journal) Rated: A

Facing rising loan losses, especially among the riskiest borrowers, banks are reining in their growth in this sector. Subprime credit-card balances at seven large U.S. banks rose 3% in the first half of the year from a year prior, down from a 13% increase in the year-earlier period, according to Autonomous Research. Capital One Financial Corp.’ssubprime balances accounted for 32% of its domestic credit-card balances in the first half of 2018 compared with 36% in the same period a year earlier

Capital One has around $32 billion in subprime credit-card balances on its books.

The new entrants say their use of machine learning and artificial intelligence for underwriting helps them manage the risk. They also mostly extend small credit lines, often ranging between $500 and $2,000, limiting the scale of potential losses.

Around 60 million U.S. adults have credit scores lower than 650, according to Fair IsaacCorp. , roughly the threshold where banks focused on prime borrowers stop lending. Some 53 million U.S. adults don’t have credit scores at all because they have little or no borrowing history.

Q2 Holdings To Acquire Cloud Lending For Lending And Leasing Platform (Seeking Alpha) Rated: B

Q2 Holdings (QTWO) has announced it has agreed to acquire Cloud Lending for $105 million plus contingent earn-outs.

Cloud Lending has developed cloud-based software for the financial lending and leasing industry.

QTWO is acquiring Cloud Lending for its next generation web-based system and complementary capabilities and geographic customer base.

The San Mateo, California-based Cloud Lending was founded in 2012 to develop and operate a cloud-based peer to peer lending and leasing platform.

Roostify Announces Roostify Adapt Functionality to Extend Branding and Customization Options for Enterprise Lenders (Business Wire) Rated: B

Roostify today announced the release of Roostify Adapt. An easily configurable feature for lenders with complex workflows, Roostify Adapt allows for real-world process management while maintaining the power of primary and secondary (“parent/child”) accounts within the Roostify digital lending environment.

United Kingdom

Higher rates will help us, says Funding Circle after divi cut (Citywire) Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer lending lending investment trust Funding Circle(FCIF) is expecting rising interest rates to help boost its yield after hedging costs forced a dividend cut.

After launching in 2015, the peer-to-peer fund had offered a 6.5p annual payout but in June it was forced to cut its target dividend range to between 5p and 6p for the next 12 months.

That equates to a forward yield of between 4.9% and 5.8% based on the current 102.8p share price.

ZOPA: UK investors more likely to hate Marmite (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

INVESTORS in the UK are more likely to hate Marmite than average, according to new research.

A survey commissioned by peer-to-peer consumer lender Zopa showed that 50 per cent of UK investors dislike Marmite, compared to the national average of 33 per cent.

The research, which polled 2,000 people with an investment of at least £2,000, found a number of other quirky traits.

This included a preference for blue cars, which are owned by 20 per cent of investors, and a love of listening to Radio 2.

Here Are The U.K. Companies That Will Be Unicorns In 2019 (Forbes) Rated: AAA

There are 

Wonga investors raise £10 million to save company (Isreal National News) Rated: A

Payday loan giant Wonga.com has received a £10 million cash injection from its investors to avoid going into administration. The controversial company was once hailed as the fastest growing company in Europe and had plans for a £1 billion flotation. However, the firm has faced difficulties after a surge in compensation claims and a regulatory clamp-down on the high-cost loans industry.

The company had a variety of backers including Israeli investors – but emergency fundraising in the last few weeks caused their original investors of Accel Partners and Balderton Capital to offer a bailout solution.

P2P Lender Welendus Returns to Seedrs to Raise £850,000 (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Short-term peer-to-peer lending platform Welendus has returned to equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs to raise £850,000 in funding. The lender’s latest initiative comes less than one year after it secured £208,898 through the funding portal.  

Welendus also reported that for investors its enables them to invest in short-term loans, offering higher returns with the short-term investment flexibility and the benefit of a Provision Fund.

Exploring the effect of the FCA crackdown on P2P and crowdfunding (AltFi News) Rated: A

The growth of P2P lending and its positive effect on the UK economy cannot be disputed. Initially starting out as a curiosity during the depths of the financial crisis in 2008, P2P lending has grown from £300 million in funds being lent in 2011 to a huge £4.6 billion in 2016.

China

Preview: China Rapid Finance Q2 Earnings (Benzinga) Rated: AAA

On Wednesday, China Rapid Finance XRF 4.86% will release its latest earnings report. Decipher the announcement with Benzinga’s help.

Earnings and Revenue

Wall Street analysts see China Rapid Finance reporting a loss of 13 cents per share on revenue of $30.88 million.

China Rapid Finance EPS in the same period a year ago came in at a loss of 29 cents. Revenue was $15.16 million. Revenue would be up 103.67 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Victims of P2P Lending Crisis in China Speak Out About Misfortunes (The Epoch Times) Rated: AAA

Yindou had a loan balance of 4.4 billion yuan (about $640 million) as of the end of June, according to Yicai, a major Chinese business newspaper. After Yindo suspended its operations in July, the company’s investors were left without the ability to withdraw their investments.

Since the platform closed, Yindou investors have turned to the bank in hopes of collecting their investments back.

Recently, victims of another financial product apparently gone wrong have taken to the streets. This year, a total of 170 private funds, 70 percent of which are private-equity or venture-capital funds, have failed or closed without explanation. This has led to many protests, most notably in Beijing on Aug. 7, where local police turned away protestors before they could make their case to China’s bank regulator, the Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC).

Meanwhile, China’s M2 money supply, or the total savings of companies and residents, increased more than a hundredfold from 1990 to 2017, according to He, at a rate faster than the growth of GDP. While a steady money supply, or credit, can fuel an economy’s growth, such excessive credit, in relation to the GDP, can fuel bubbles and cause inflation.

Regulatory Reorganization Crucial to Health of Financial System (Caixin Global) Rated: A

The merging of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission into the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) naturally has attracted a lot of attention outside of China as it involves major changes across two important areas of finance.

Yet perhaps the most important thing is how this will change the relationship between regulators and the central bank, the People’s Bank of China.

Fifteen years ago, responsibility for supervising and regulating banking institutions was taken from the central bank and given to the then-newly formed CBRC. This development had far-reaching consequences, and led to the rebuilding of the previously inefficient financial regulatory model into a comprehensive and professional banking system that is in line with international standards. State-owned banks were also commercialized around this time.

Protests Mark China’s Ruptured P2P Lending Landscape (PYMNTS) Rated: A

China’s peer-to-peer (P2P) lending crisis has caused widespread anger from citizens who are demanding that the government bail out hundreds of collapsed P2P companies. Last week, it was reported that China ordered a lockdown of Beijing’s financial district to prevent individuals from protesting a crisis in the P2P lending marketplace.

The size of China’s P2P industry is bigger than in the rest of the world combined, with outstanding loans of 1.49 trillion yuan ($217.96 billion USD). The industry was nearly unregulated and at its peak in 2015, when there were about 3,500 P2P businesses in the country. However, a combination of regulatory failures, fraud and the declining debt is being blamed for the shuttering of 243 online lending platforms since June.

China’s multi-front economic war dulls direction (Asia Times) Rated: A

Chinese stocks were at the bottom of the Emerging Asia pack into August, down 20% in local-index terms, as the so-called “trade war” with Washington added another 25% mutual tariff blow on tens of billions of dollars’ worth of goods.

The International Monetary Fund urged a negotiated settlement as it predicted only “limited direct impact” on the Chinese economy, shaving growth by half a percentage point under a medium-case scenario, while holding to this year’s 6.6% forecast. However, the IMF also warned that credit expansion was unsustainable and that tighter global financing conditions posed “downside risk,” as the renminbi continued its 10% slide since April.

However, the US-China exchange-rate and trade regimes now closely overlap as an overhang on “A” share consideration, despite China’s 30% slice on the benchmark MSCI Index, with a clean resolution of cross-cutting issues unlikely to offer recovery prospects in the coming months.

European Union

Lower Interest Rates on Mintos – How do Investors React? (P2P Banking) Rated: AAA

Compared to the beginning of July the interest rates for newly issued EUR loans on Mintos are much lower now. While investor enjoyed interest rates of up to 13-14% for loans issued in the first half of the year, typical rates are 8-11% now, with a 12-13% for more exotic loans mixed in.

To find out how investors reacted to the situation P2P-Kredite.com conducted a survey among German speaking Mintos investors. Here are the preliminary results (48 respondents):

  • 35% say they withdraw univested cash and invest it on other p2p lending platforms
  • 21% say they continue to invest on Mintos primary market
  • 17% say they just wait, the interest rates will rise again
  • 15% say they withdraw unimvested cash and invest it in other asset classes (e.g stock)
  • 12% say they buy on the Mintos secondary market now, instead of using the primary market
International

Banks and Retailers Are Tracking How You Type, Swipe and Tap (The New York Times) Rated: AAA

The way you press, scroll and type on a phone screen or keyboard can be as unique as your fingerprints or facial features. To fight fraud, a growing number of banks and merchants are tracking visitors’ physical movements as they use websites and apps.

Some use the technology only to weed out automated attacks and suspicious transactions, but others are going significantly further, amassing tens of millions of profiles that can identify customers by how they touch, hold and tap their devices.

The data collection is invisible to those being watched. Using sensors in your phone or code on websites, companies can gather thousands of data points, known as “behavioral biometrics,” to help prove whether a digital user is actually the person she claims to be.

When clients log in to their Royal Bank of Scotland accounts, software begins recording more than 2,000 different interactive gestures. On phones, it measures the angle at which people hold their devices, the fingers they use to swipe and tap, the pressure they apply and how quickly they scroll. On a computer, the software records the rhythm of their keystrokes and the way they wiggle their mouse.

Asia

Funding Societies Hits SGD200 Million in SME Crowdfunding (Funding Societies) Rated: AAA

Funding Societies surpassed the SGD 200 million mark in total crowdfunded SME loans. This achievement came just 6 months after crossing SGD 100 million in January this year. In the same period, its investor base has also increased from about 40,000 to 75,000, indicating strong demand from investors to support local SMEs while diversifying their investment portfolio.

Chinese P2P Lender Hexindai Announces Equity Stake Acquisition in Indonesian Online Lending Platform Musketeer (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Chinese peer-to-peer lending platform Hexindai (NASDAQ:HX) announced on Tuesday it has entered into definitive agreements to acquire a 20% equity stake in Musketeer Group Inc., an Indonesian online lending platform that offers consumption installment loans, for approximately $1.6 million, and simultaneously completed the acquisition. 

MENA

The Impact Of The Middle East’s Fintech Boom On Economic Inequality In The Region (Entrepreneur) Rated: AAA

The past decade has shown that fintech can be a powerful force for equality. Blockchain, data analytics, and mobile phone technology are evolving at breakneck speed and have shown potential to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. Safaricom’s mobile-money platform, M-Pesa, reaches an estimated 96% of households in Kenya, and is credited with lifting at least 200,000 Kenyan households out of poverty. The Indian mobile wallet, PayTM, has nearly 200 million users, including women and rural families that can now participate in the digital economy. Will the Middle East produce companies of the same caliber and social impact? There is certainly an opportunity, thanks to three factors.

The first factor is necessity. The Middle East is in dire need of ideas to bridge the massive gulf between the rich and the poor. The region leads the world in economic inequality, where the top 10% of the population enjoy about 60-66% of the region’s income. 86% of the adult population is underbanked, which means they don’t have access to services at formal financial institutions. This provides a tremendous market opportunity.

Square And MetLife Watch Out: Two Fintech Startups Target T Markets (Forbes) Rated: A

Lending Express, a Tel Aviv-based platform founded in 2016 that connects small businesses with lenders, is hoping to expand the market for small business loans. As CEO Eden Amirav explained in an August 13 interview, Lending Express — which has raised $2.7 million in seed capital — has grown from under 10 people in October 2016 to 25 — mostly in Tel Aviv with a business development office in San Francisco.

Lending Express did not disclose its revenues but it seems to be growing. As Amirav said, “We currently work with more than 30 leading lenders and FinTech partners, and have facilitated $65 million in SMB loans funded through our platform. Since we began operations in the US in the last quarter of 2017, and thereafter almost every quarter, we have doubled the number of loans we facilitated the previous quarter and 46% of all loans we’ve helped close happened in the second quarter of 2018.”

Lending Express sees tremendous potential for SMB lending outside of traditional banks. Amirav estimates that a mere 1% of the $1 trillion in total SMB loans — or $10 billion — is offered by alternative lenders like Lending Club and On Deck.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday June 19 2017, Daily News Digest

Lending Club default rates

News Comments Today’s main news: Finastra inks agreement with IBM. One number Elevate Credit shareholders are worried about. Zopa makes IFISA available to existing customers. Yirendai ready to include wealth management. Klarna wins Europe’s biggest fintech banking license. Today’s main analysis: Online lenders do a good job of identifying fraud. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Bloomberg report is critical of online […]

Lending Club default rates

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United States

United Kingdom

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European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Africa

News Summary

United States

One Number Elevate Credit Shareholders Are Worried About (The Motley Fool), Rated: AAA

Elevate Credit, Inc. (NYSE:ELVT) the newly public subprime fintech lender, delivered its first quarterly earnings report as a public company on May 8, and the results were impressive. Loan originations grew almost 40%, while revenue grew by a smaller 20%, due to the lowering of interest rates on Elevate’s high-rate loan products. Elevate’s IPO was unusual — most tech IPOs sport high growth rates but negative earnings. In the first quarter, Elevate actually delivered a net profit of $1.7 million. Adjusted EBITDA margin expanded to 16%, above the 10% margin posted in 2016 and the 4% in 2015.

The big blemish on the quarter was a high net charge-off rate  as a percentage of revenues. Net charge-offs measure the amount of principal and interest more than 60 days past due, minus recoveries from prior periods. That number shot up to 59% in the quarter, above the company’s target range of 45-55%,  and up 600 basis points year over year. While the company was still profitable, the $1.7 million in net earnings was down from $6 million in the year-ago quarter.

Management explained that the rise in loan loss provisions was partially related to a new credit score the company tested on lots of new customers at the end of 2016. As is the case with many financial companies, when new customers increase, there is often an initial uptick in defaults or loss ratios.

Bloomberg Report is Critical of Online Lenders (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

A report from Bloomberg this week takes certain online lending platforms to task regarding the fact that some online lenders are not verifying income status.  The report also says that even if there are errors in loan applications the loan may still be approved. More specifically, apparently Prosper does not verify income and employment in about a quarter of the loans. Lending Club is said to verify income in about one third of the loans.

Risk is always part of the investment equation and Orchard Platform perhaps provides the best perspective into affiliated risk of investing in loans originated online.

Online Lenders are doing a good job of identifying the frauds (even without hard income verification) (Croudify), Rated: AAA

Recently there was an article in Bloomberg (Article Link) that talked about how online lenders are not always verifying the basic borrower information like Income.

We at Croudify have been analyzing the loan data for more than 2 years and wanted to shed some light on the article and show that while the headline is true the devil is in the details and actually the platforms have been doing a very good job in identifying the fraud.

Once we had concluded that the non-verified loans are not growing as percent of population the logical next step was to check if these loans are performing worse than before. Is there a possibility that the loans without income verification have deteriorated over time and hence the red flag.

This points to a very important finding that the preliminary indicators that Lending Club is using in identifying the fraudulent behavior is not only working it is working great and is providing a performance lift to loans.

Pricey ‘fintech’ lenders put the squeeze on cash-strapped small businesses (L.A. Times), Rated: A

So Newman, 61, turned instead to an online lending company called OnDeck. After submitting a handful of bank statements, he was quickly approved for a $65,000 loan, which allowed Newman to cover his wine shipments and keep his business running.

“These loans are predatory by nature,” he told me. Think payday loans for small businesses, he said, with interest rates well over 30%.

And there’s something to that. Loans with a higher degree of risk would naturally come with higher interest rates. The question is whether such loans are being marketed honestly and fairly, and whether customers are able to make informed decisions about financial obligations.

Fairness in lending means clear and straightforward disclosure of terms and conditions. On that score, OnDeck seems to come up short.

For example, the company’s website boasts that term loans of up to $500,000 can be obtained with annual interest rates as low as 5.99%. Newman said that when he contacted OnDeck, he was hoping to get a loan at such a rate. But it didn’t work out that way.

What he got was a 12-month, $65,000 loan, plus nearly $17,500 in interest and an origination fee of $1,625. That translated to an annual percentage rate of 55%.

In fact, OnDeck told me its average annual interest rate for term loans, excluding fees, is 38%. If that’s the case, I asked why the rate most prominently displayed on their website is 5.99%.

China Merchants Bank is considered the largest industry player currently, but still its assets under management in its private banking division are worth just 1.66 trillion yuan.

Assessing the future of the financial advice industry (InvestmentNews), Rated: A

First: There will be fewer advisers, possibly many fewer. The trend line points down, and there’s nothing in the three- to five-year outlook to change that.

The future leaders of this profession see advisers serving far more clients with a greater assist from technology, as well as more reliance on outsourcing.

But those requiring expert financial advice will undoubtedly seek a more complete look at all areas where money touches their lives — and how those areas intersect. Who will need it most? A large population that isn’t necessarily today’s prime prospect pool, at least for advisers paid based on a percentage of assets: the HENRYs (high-earner, not rich yet). As investment advisers move beyond mere investments, and the field becomes a profession, compensation surely will evolve to ensure those who most need advice can get it and those giving advice can still run a profitable business.

In financial advice this will take the form of a planning quarterback who strategizes the entire financial game plan and keeps clients on track largely through automated accountability programs.

If you find this hard to believe, just wait until Google or Amazon moves full throttle into the asset management business.

Offer B2B Fintech Solutions To Help Clients Grow Their Sales (Forbes), Rated: A

In April, 2017, Pew Charitable Trusts published the results of a national survey of payday loan borrowers. The top three responses to what is most important to these borrowers in choosing where to get a payday loan were:

  • 76% – How quickly they can get the money
  • 74% – The fee charged
  • 73% – The certainty that they would be approved for the loan

The survey reveals other important consumer attitudes about payday loans. Most respondents believe that there should be more regulation of lenders, and lower interest charges. They would also prefer almost any other borrowing option or loan type to the payday solution.

Chuck Wait Tire, located in the small rural community of Mowrystown, Ohio, had never cleared more than $100,000 in monthly revenue, until they implemented Acima. The next month, they not only beat the $100,000 threshold, they killed it with a 33% monthly increase in sales from $90,000 to $120,000.

Podcast 105: Robert Morgan of the American Bankers Association (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • The core purpose of the ABA.
  • What is in the ABA Fintech Playbook and why they published it.
  • How the bank of  the future will be different to today.
  • How the ABA select their Endorsed Solutions providers.
  • The attitude of banks today regarding partnering with fintech platforms.
  • How large banks differ to small banks when it comes to partnering.
  • The needs of banks today when it comes to new technologies.
  • The official stance of the ABA on the OCC Fintech Charter.
  • The ABA’s view on the data sharing initiatives taking hold in Europe.
  • How banks, data aggregators and fintech companies are working together on data sharing.
  • How open banking could work in a similar way to Facebook logins.
  • Some of the other new technologies that are on Rob’s radar.
  • How banks of the future will be similar to banks of today.

ArborCrowd Now Offering $ 69.7 Million Commercial Real Estate Deal to Investors in Miami (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

Online commercial real estate company ArborCrowd announced on Thursday it is now offering a new $69.7 million commercial real estate deal to investors. The Lago Paradiso property is described as a multifamily complex located in Miami, Florida. 

According to ArborCrowd, investors now have the opportunity to own a piece of a $4 million stake in Lago Paradiso. The property now has a targeted 13 percent to 17 percent Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and a projected hold period of four to seven years.

United Kingdom

Zopa Announcement: IFISA Is Now Available to Existing Customers (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Zopa announced on Thursday its IFISA is now available for all existing Zopa customers. Along with the IFISA, the online lender unveiled its latest peer-to-peer investment product, Zopa Core.

Zopa then explained that the Zopa Core product has a target return of 3.9% and by December will replace its products, Access and Classic, without Safeguard coverage. IFISA and Zopa Core features include:

Funding Circle SME Income fund holds steady on dividend (AltFi), Rated: AAA

The £406m Funding Circle SME Income fund has paid out its fifth dividend, the fourth consecutive quarter at the same 1.625p level, holding pay-outs in line with targets.

OFF3R Wants to Become “Money Supermarket” (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

At last count OFF3R hosts offers from 36 different UK platforms. Today in a report on P2PFinanceNews, OFF3R is revealing it is raising £5 million to become the “Money Supermarket” for investments. Essentially OFF3R wants to integrate today’s alternative investments with yesterday’s more traditional types.

Fiserv to buy UK mobile payments pioneer Monitise for 70 million pounds (Reuters), Rated: A

U.S. financial technology provider Fiserv said on Tuesday it had agreed to buy British financial services technology firm Monitise Plc for about 70 million pounds ($88.72 million).

AIM-listed Monetise, worth about 2 billion pounds at its peak in early 2014, blazed a trail by linking banks and mobile operators to build a business capable of handling billions of dollars in mobile payments, purchases and money transfers.

The SME’s guide to P2P (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

“The key thing is making sure that you’re looking for the right type of finance,” explains Paul Marston, managing director of commercial finance at peer-to-peer lending platform RateSetter.

A survey by the British Business Bank for 2015/16 found that 100,00 small businesses were rejected for loans by mainstream lenders – equating to £4bn of potential finance.

“If you’re an SME and go to the bank for an unsecured loan, there’s a cap of around £50,000, whereas Funding Circle will offer up to £350,000.

Funding Circle explains that it offers four key benefits for SME borrowers: speed, flexibility, efficiency and transparency.

As P2P platforms are purely online, busy business owners can apply for finance outside of working hours. “More than 50 per cent of loan applications are made outside of working hours, when a bank branch would be closed,” says Funding Circle.

While criteria varies from platform to platform, P2P loans are often more suitable for businesses that are slightly more established. For example, RateSetter offers loans to businesses that have been trading for at least three years and has at least two years of either audited accounts or formally prepared management accounts. And Funding Circle only lends to businesses that have been trading for more than two years, have a turnover of more than £50,000 and are a UK limited company.

However, there are still options for start-ups. Crowd2Fund has recently launched a ‘venture debt’ product which enables early-stage companies that are not cash-flow positive to access debt finance. Crowd2Fund argues that this can be simpler than raising equity and enables founders to keep control of their company.

Funding Xchange claims that a business using its platform can expect an average saving of £2,000 by comparing pricing from multiple providers – representing 10 per cent of the value of the average loan.

LendInvest hires second Northern BDM (Financial Reporter), Rated: B

LendInvest has appointed its second BDM for Northern England to satisfy growing demand in the region.

Sophie Mitchell-Charman joins the team from Mint where she worked as a Bridging BDM. Based in York, she will travel extensively throughout northern England, with a particular focus on deals in the North East.

China

P2P platform Yirendai ready to move up a financial league or two, including into wealth management (SCMP), Rated: AAA

Yirendai, China’s largest peer-to-peer lending platform, is looking to raise its profile even higher, with an expanded product offering, the company’s chief executive Fang Yihan has told the South China Morning Post, shrugging off any worries about a regulation-induced slowdown in the industry.

New rules governing the industry will come into force in August, and according to available drafts, these will impose a limit of 200 000 yuan (US$29,400) on lending to individual borrowers, require the lenders to carry out stricter background checks on all clients, and establish strong contractual relations with custodian banks.

Double digit returns for investors were commonplace last year, but will become harder to find.

But with its scale, larger players such as Yirendai that will be the most likely to gain a competitive advantage from the tighter rules.

China’s retail wealth management market was worth 120 trillion yuan last year, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group, which expects growth of 12 per cent annually for the next five years.

China Merchants Bank is considered the largest industry player currently, but still its assets under management in its private banking division are worth just 1.66 trillion yuan.

Yirendai is also experimenting with allowing partners to sell services other lending services via its platforms.

Yirendai Recognized as Best P2P Lending Platform in China at the Future of Finance Summit (IT Business Net), Rated: A

Yirendai Ltd. (NYSE: YRD) (“Yirendai” or the “Company”), a leading online consumer finance marketplace in China, today announced that it was awarded the Best P2P Lending Platform in China Award at The Future of Finance Summit (the “Summit”) held in Singapore on June 8-9, 2017. Yirendai is the first FinTech company in China to receive this prestigious reward.

China’s P2P Lending business volume of May reached to $ 53billion, keeping another new record. (Xing Ping She Email), Rated: A

According to a latest monthly report issued by P2P001.com, the total volume of P2P lending in China hit a new record to $53billion on May, with the month-on-month growth of 11.32%.

On May, the average annual interest rate for P2P loans was 8.34%, which has been slowly rising for three months in a row. However, the financial “deleveraging” and tighter monetary policy are still undergoing, it is unlikely that P2P lending rates will continue to rise.

By the end of May, the accumulated P2P loan balance in China has reached to $213billion, with the month-on-month growth of 6.72%. Among them, the loans outstanding on P2P loans of more than $29,850 reached to $152 billion, accounting for 71.46% of the total; the loans outstanding on P2P loans of more than $149,253 reached to $101billion, accounting for 47.43%.

In addition, there are 672 P2P lending institutions assigned depository agreement with banks up to the late May, involving 59 banks and 28 provincial and municipal lending platforms, and 286 of them have been already launched online.

China Banking Regulatory Commission issued a standard campus loan requirements (01Caijing), Rated: A

Recently, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security issued the Notice on Further Strengthening the Management of Campus Credit.

It is pointed out that commercial banks and policy banks should provide customized products for college students, training, consumption and entrepreneurship under the premise of risk control while strengthening the rectification of campus loan problems. And the standardization of financial services, together set the credit line and interest rates.

Beijing and Shenzhen drive Chinese fintech (Deal Street Asia), Rated: A

Ning Tang, CEO and founder of Chinese fintech major Creditease, believes that the current landscape will require players in the finance sector to evolve their approach amid a highly disruptive technology landscape with substantial opportunity.

What’re the assets under management and the role of the Singapore office?

Every year we help clients deploy over $100 billion of capital and the idea of coming to Singapore in 2014 was that this city was one of the bases for our internationalisation strategy.

You’ve got different entrepreneurial hubs in China – Hangzhou, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing – which is the fintech capital of China? 

I’d like to say Beijing because that’s Creditease’s base. But in terms of technology innovation, not just in financial services, I think Beijing and Shenzhen are the leading cities, while some say Hangzhou as well.

Why do so many Chinese firms want to list in New York when Chinese entrepreneurs have access to very liquid stock markets in cities like Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong? 

In our experience, the US capital markets are more advanced in terms of welcoming innovative business models and companies at the growth stage despite being a pre-profit stock.

Recently, Beijing has been implementing capital controls and kerbing capital outflows from China. How has this affected Creditease’s business?  

We’re largely unaffected by these controls, as many of our wealth management clients have assets outside of China, and we help them manage those. However, with our Creditease Fintech Investment Fund,  we had some of our partners who were able to invest overseas.

There’s been a lot of movement in the Bitcoin and Ethereum markets. What’s the view of Creditease on digital currencies as an asset class and its use in marketplace lending? 

We remain interested but it’s too early at this stage. The regulatory framework and security issues around such models…I think we’d like to see more things get worked out before this asset class becomes appealing to our investor base. We help our investors do asset allocation and any asset class going into the portfolio should be a major asset class. Otherwise, it’s quite speculative and not helpful to our investors

Looking at the future of fintech in China, you have Beijing where the regulators are based. With all these centres like Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, what is the future of all these different ecosystems? 

Quite interestingly, you’re talking about cities. I’m thinking about nations.

So different cities and nations have to assess the unique attributes they work and work on refining and enhancing those. I’m quite hopeful that Beijing will continue to be the fintech hub and with Creditease, we’ve got a presence in various places like Israel, Singapore, New York and Hong Kong, so we can access this innovation everywhere!

China: WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

As the plan summaries, from 2011 to 2015, over 96 regulations and guidelines for the financial sector have been issued. In the next five years, another 110 regulatory updates or new regulations or guidelines will be released.

Alibaba Group Holding Limited hosted an Investor Day on June 8-9 at Alibaba Xixi Headquarters. Speakers included Jack Ma (Executive Chairman), Daniel Zhang (CEO) and other members of the senior management team.

To safeguard the interests and property rights of college students and maintain financial stability for P2P online lending market, China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), Ministry of Education and Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security have jointly issued a paper to regulate the student loans market. The paper encourages commercial banks and policy banks to develop student loans business and provide standardized financial services to college students.

Ant Financial’s virtual credit card service Ant Check Later (also known as “Huabei” in Mandarin) is eyeing to link up to 4 million online and offline merchants to help them grow businesses and attract consumers who have little access to physical credit cards.

At present, third party payment service license has become an essential equipment for any Chinese company who wants to expand into financial services. On June 7, GOME Finance announced to acquire a payment service company Easy Bonus Card. GOME Finance paid up to CNY 720 million, mainly for the license, which could make the company complement the payment capabilities and accelerate the process of technological innovation.

European Union

Sweden’s Klarna wins Europe’s biggest fintech banking licence (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Klarna has become the largest European fintech company to get a banking licence, with the Swedish group saying it wants to become the Ryanair of the sector, attacking lenders across the continent.

Valued at more than $2bn, Klarna has already captured much of the market for online payments in the Nordics and Germany, and on Monday received a banking licence from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority 20 months after filing for one.

The Swedish group – which had revenues of SKr3.6bn last year and was valued at $2.25bn in a fundraising in 2015 – is looking at offering customers across Europe services such as bank cards and salary accounts as well as eyeing the US for future expansion.

Crowdfunding Platform BrickVest Makes First Exit At 31% Return (Bisnow), Rated: A

BrickVest, the real estate investment crowdfunding platform, has announced that some of its investors have exited an investment for the first time, at a sizzling return.

BrickVest, the real estate investment crowdfunding platform, has announced that some of its investors have exited an investment for the first time, at a sizzling return.

The BrickVest fund invested in a portfolio of 23 retail assets in a joint venture alongside Corestate Capital.

Russian Fintech And Their Fight Against Geopolitics (Forbes), Rated: A

According to EY’s Fintech Adoption Index report last year, although Russian online adoption is lower in comparison to major financial centers like London, New York or Hong Kong, the market in this area is growing at a rapid rate. Online payments and money transfers are booming Russia, as are Moscow and St Petersburg are becoming hubs for this form of technology.

David Waroquier, Partner at Mangrove Capital Partners also highlighted that access to funding in Russia is more limited. ‘This means Russian fintech companies must have a tighter control on costs and be very efficient operationally.’

As said before, one of the trends that has exploded in Russia is mobile payments, as the EY report states that 57.6% of Russians used this service in comparison to the 17.6% globally. There are currently 56 million online mobile users over 16 in the country and according to Gfk, 53% of online users in Russia made at least one mobile payment in the last 6 months, as Dunaev said.

European Crowdfunding Network Launches Survey on Cross-border Crowdfunding & Online Lending (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The European Crowdfunding Network (ECN) has launched a survey dedicated to addressing the challenges of cross border transactions in the investment space. More specifically, the ECN is seeking input on cross border crowdfunding and online lending, including peer to peer / marketplace lending.

The ECN explains:

We will focus solely on crowdfunding models that entail a financial return, notably:

  • Investment-based crowdfunding (where companies issue equity or debt instruments to crowd-investors through a platform) and
  • Lending-based crowdfunding (where companies or individuals seek to obtain funds from the public through platforms in the form of a loan agreement)

The survey is available here. 

International

Newly Formed Finastra Signs Agreement with IBM on Banking Technology, Fintech (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Finastra, created by the merging of Misys and D+H, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) have reached an agreement to explore how Finastra can transform their banking operations with IBM Cloud and Cognitive technologies. The two companies plan to bring IBM technology into the Finastra open architecture to enrich the digital retail banking experience and bring new innovations to market.

WorldRemit adds Android Pay as secure option for migrant remittances (Reuters), Rated: A

Cross-border money transfer service WorldRemit is enabling its immigrant customer base to send money home using Android Pay, making it the first international remittance firm to run on the Google payments system, the company said on Tuesday.

Connecting with Android Pay will enable WorldRemit customers in developed markets like Europe or North America to make instant international money transfers to reach the 112 million accounts available via WorldRemit’s network of payment channels.

London-based WorldRemit says it handles about three-quarters of mobile phone-based international money transfers, a small but fast-growing segment of the global $575 billion worldwide remittance market. Recipients using WorldRemit can up pick cash or deposit money in banks or mobile money accounts or top up mobile accounts.

Traydstream launches fintech solution for paperless trade (Global Trade Review), Rated: B

New fintech player, Traydstream, has launched a solution to digitalise trade documents and automate regulatory compliance screening using artificial intelligence.

In short, Traydstream’s new solution digitalises the whole trade transaction – from invoice to Swift – and is targeted at banks as well as corporates.

Australia

Big banks and fintech start-ups face up to Jack Ma’s mobile payments juggernaut Ant Financial (abc.net.au), Rated: A

While Ant Financial says it wants to work with our banks, not against them, some are warning disruption from a global digital giant is inevitable, even if it doesn’t come from China.

Former Challenger exec Paul Rogan makes robo-advice play (Australian Financial Review), Rated: A

Paul Rogan, the former chief executive of distribution, marketing and research who stepped out of the role in February after 12 years at Australia’s largest annuities providers, is now readying to launch Retirement Essentials, an online platform that educates and assists those who are already in retirement on how to manage their money.

Mr Rogan has invested an undisclosed sum in SuperEd, the the robo-adviser co-founded in 2012 by Vanguard Australia founder Jeremy Duffield and Westpac executive and technology entrepreneur Hugh Morrow.

India

Wadhawans opens UK unit, buys stake in Zopa (India Times), Rated: AAA

Wadhawan Global Capital (WGC), which owns 38% of DHFL and is the controlling lever for the group’s financial businesses, has set up a London unit that opened its account through undisclosed -but sizeable-investments in 12-year-old Zopa.

What the future holds for the P2P lending market in India and the world (My Big Plunge), Rated: A

While the overall internet-based alternative finance industry registered transactions worth more than $57 million between 2013 and 2015, online peer-to-peer or marketplace lending saw loans with a cumulative value of over $2 million disbursed during the same period. The total loan value in the corresponding two years has grown by around $2 million, with an estimated $4.5 million worth of loans disbursed through online peer-to-peer lending platforms by the end of 2016.

But even as industry projections predict the market for peer-to-peer loans to be worth $4-5 billion by the end of 2023, this promising segment is still a long way off from achieving its true potential as a highly viable alternative investment class.

The launch of India’s Digital Stack that includes Aadhar, eKYC and digital payments is paving the way for the country’s shift towards a cashless economy.

The year 2017 is expected to be the year of financial technology, with alternative lending and investment products like peer-to-peer lending set to be driving forces for the latest iteration of the fintech revolution in India.

Faircent.com, for example, has consistently delivered net returns upwards of 18% per annum to its majority of lenders.

Asia

InvestaCrowd Updates on Real Estate Crowdfunding in Asia (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

About a year ago, Crowdfund Insider connected with Julian Kwan, CEO and co-founder of Investacrowd, a real estate crowdfunding platform that was established in Singapore. Kwan was born in Australia but has spent the last 17 years in Asia – most recently Singapore. Having founded multiple companies, Kwan is a longtime real estate investor, developer, and manager.  InvestaCrowd was envisioned as a vehicle to provide access to real estate investments in select markets like New York City, Sydney or London.  As with many real estate platforms, by using technology much of the process may be completed online.

A report by Cushman & Wakefield from earlier this year highlighted this fact. In a publication, Cushman & Wakefield explained;

“Compared to other countries, China ranked No. 1 among foreign investors in commercial real estate within the U.S. in 2016. China inbound investment deal volumes have grown rapidly, reaching $19.2 billion USD in 2016, a record high. Sixty-two percent of the investments, which equated to $11.9 billion USD, were deals over $1 billion USD. The five largest Chinese investment transactions were among the top ten largest transactions in the U.S. in 2016.”

Kwan told us InvestaCrowd was in the process of obtaining a capital markets license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) – now a requirement.

But current investors are turning into repeat investors. InvestaCrowd does not focus on Southeast Asian real estate which brings better quality deals but adds a different challenge to the mix. While he likes the Singapore market it is in a bit of a pause. On the other side, he is very cautious on deals in countries like Vietnam, Indonesia or China – a country where he spent many years in the real estate sector.

Kwan said they are looking to set up a line of credit too, so as to be able to pre-fund deals.

Meet Anna Haotanto, The Fintech Queen of Singapore (IB Times), Rated: A

Singapore is one of the leading hotspots for financial tech thanks to flexible regulation plus national initiatives to fund startups and integrate blockchain innovation into the local economy. American venture capitalists at the Ethereal Summit in New York praised Singapore as a ripe market, teeming with collaboration between entrepreneurs, regulators, banks and investors. The small island nation wants more than a high-tech economy: Singapore aims to become a global fintech hub.

Haotanto is a self-made millionaire determined to make fintech more accessible for Asian women. Her online media startup, the New Savvy, targets women investors by providing 30,000 Asian subscribers with finance and career guidance. This is no ordinary women’s publication. Forbes reported her team partners with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Far East Organization to produce pragmatic content.

So her company organized the Future Is Female conference in April, along with SGX, attended by 250 women.

Africa

P2P Cash Launches Money Transfer Service to Nigeria With No Transfer Fees (Press Release Rocket), Rated: A

P2P Cash, a Georgia-based digital financial services company, has opened a new money transfer service from the US states of Georgia and South Carolina to Nigeria. P2P Cash now offers cross-border money transfers at competitive exchange rates without any transfer fees. Nigerians and Nigerian-Americans in Georgia and South Carolina can find this new service at . Customers may also download the mobile app from the Google Play or Apple Stores.

P2P Cash’s aggressive no-fee pricing position is possible because of its proprietary Smart Token technology and global disbursement network.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday March 22 2017, Daily News Digest

Lending Club Prosper tax filing

News Comments Correction: In yesterday’s Lending Times, March 21s 2017, we have stated that the reason why Lending Club recently increased borrowing rates was due to an increase in defaults. In fact, Lending Club is matching the US FED central rate increase and plans to continue doing so. We, in fact, believe that this is the […]

Lending Club Prosper tax filing

News Comments

Correction: In yesterday’s Lending Times, March 21s 2017, we have stated that the reason why Lending Club recently increased borrowing rates was due to an increase in defaults. In fact, Lending Club is matching the US FED central rate increase and plans to continue doing so. We, in fact, believe that this is the proper decision in order to keep the investors attracted to this investment.

United States

  • Prosper reports wider loss on loan slowdown. GP:” The story here is that in 2016 Prosper revenues came down by 33% while expenses rose by 11%. In the same time Lending Club and OnDeck also lost money. A few thoughts: 2016 was a change year for the industry and Prosper who changed board members, CEOs, CFOs. So the Prosper team were aware changes were needed and they are in place. The second part is that it’s unclear at what scale Prosper needs to be to be profitable. Do they need to originate $2bil per year as they did in 2016 , $20 bil or $200 bil? Zopa and other companies showed that in the billions the scale is enough for profitability. Therefore I think it’s fair to expect 2016 to have been the transition year and 2017 to be the poster child year where Prosper and their competitors probably break even.” AT: “Huge drop. Maybe next year will be better for Prosper since payments on its 2013 settlement of a class action lawsuit were to end after three years.”
  • Sofi,Quovo show off new wealth management API.
  • Fitch upgrades CHAI 2016-PM1 Class A, B. GP:” It’s good news on the Prosper securitizations, the ratings got upgraded. This is a good sign to the overall Prosper notes investors.”
  • LC, Prosper tax information for 2017. AT: “You should consult your tax advisor for more specific information and advice regarding your own marketplace lending investments.”
  • SoFi inks office lease in NYC. GP:” SoFi is clearly hiring in NYC or will very soon. If you read Lending Times and are looking for your next opportunity perhaps you should email them a CV and you may beat the crowd.”
  • Would you trust Goldman Sachs with robo-advice? AT: In a few years, no one will think to ask this question.”
  • Deutsche Bank launches tech startup in NYC. GP:”Possibly a good incubator for fintech startups, worth a discussion.”
  • WorldRemit launches in Hawaii.
  • Brooklyn real estate is attractive to China’s middle class. AT: “I would imagine that American real estate is attractive to Chinese investors, even the middle class.”
  • Jilliene Helman on the future of investing. GP:” RealtyMogul has 110,000 investors on the platform. To me that seems very valuable beyond real estate investing. These investors probably need also fixed income and other asset classes allocation.”  AT: “Mostly about RealtyMogul.”
  • CRB names regulatory expert to BOD.

United Kingdom

European Union

  • Circle, Kabbage expand into Ireland. GP:” I wonder why UK lenders have not leveraged their existing fixed costs by entering the Irish market relatively quickly.”
  • Carrefour launches online banking service. GP:” Possibly this is a play for a cheap source of capital for Carrefour? Would US retailers be interested for something similar? How about a fintech startup to help any large corporation launch an online bank? “

International

China

News Summary

United States

Online Lender Prosper Reports Wider Loss on Loan Slowdown (WSJ), Rated: AAA

San Francisco-based Prosper reported an annual loss of $118.7 million, compared with a loss of $26 million for 2015. The company said the bigger loss was due to lower loan volumes and higher costs related to restructuring efforts and a legal settlement.

Prosper’s loss compared with $85.5 million red ink for 2016 at online small-business lender On Deck Capital Inc. and a $146 million loss at online consumer lender LendingClub Corp.

Prosper’s loan volume fell 41% to $2.2 billion as a result of money managers “pausing or significantly reducing” their purchases of the company’s credits,” according to the filing. Prosper makes money mostly from fees it charges borrowers who take out unsecured personal loans, and the slowdown contributed to revenue falling by one-third to $132.9 million.

Meanwhile, expenses rose 11% to $254.2 million.

Sofi, Quovo Show Off New Wealth Management API (Bank Innovation), Rated: AAA

The alternative lender demoed its new Authentication API, built in partnership with Quovo, a financial data aggregator for wealth management, at the FinDEVr conference today.

The API service is available primarily for the U.S., but it does support international accounts; Quovo has served customers in Canada and Australia, as well as clients in Europe.

Fitch Upgrades CHAI 2016-PM1 Class A and B; Affirms Class C (Fitch Ratings), Rated: AAA

Fitch Ratings-New York-20 March 2017: Fitch Ratings has taken the following rating actions on Citi Held for Asset Issuance 2016-PM1 (CHAI 2016-PM1), which is backed by marketplace loans originated via the Prosper platform:

–Class A upgraded to ‘Asf’ from ‘A-sf’; Outlook Stable;
–Class B upgraded to ‘BBBsf’ from ‘BBB-sf’; Outlook Stable;
–Class C affirmed at ‘Bsf’; Outlook Stable.

CE and Liquidity Support: Hard CE for class A, B, and C is 52.7%, 39.4%, and 17.3%, respectively. Liquidity support is provided by a non-declining reserve account, which is currently 0.84% of the pool balance. While subordination available to the class A and B notes will grow as the transaction pays down, overcollateralization (OC) is at its target release level of 16.5%, and will not grow until it hits its floor of 2% of the initial balance ($6.29 million). In addition, a growing proportion of the OC consists of delinquent assets. As a result, the class C notes are particularly exposed to defaults occurring later in the transaction life, which is currently the key constraint to their ratings.

Lending Club and Prosper Tax Information for 2017 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

Lending Club has made the process easy if you use TurboTax to file your taxes. They have dedicated part of the help section of their website to outline the step by step process of how to accomplish the import. If you’re not a TurboTax customer, Lending Club has provided a 2016 update to their Tax Guide for Retail Investors.

 

My 1099-B shows proceeds of $151.17. This is the total amount of proceeds I received from charged off loans. The “Cost or Other Basis” is the cost basis for the loans that have charged off. If you take any proceeds and subtract it from the basis you calculate the losses which is broken down by loan in the tax statement and also totaled at the bottom. In my case I had $366.62 short term losses and $980.52 long term losses totaling $1,347.14 in total losses for the year.

Generally, gains and losses from recoveries, sales or charge-offs related to Lending Club Notes are reported for tax purposes as capital gains or losses, rather than ordinary gains or losses. Generally, Lending Club Notes are considered capital assets because they are owned for the purposes of investment (similar to a stock or a bond).

Filing Taxes on Prosper Loans

Filing your taxes if you’re an investor on Prosper is similar to that of Lending Club. Your Prosper tax documents can be found by clicking on “History” under your name. Next, click “Statements”. Prosper provides each document separately instead of a consolidated report. In my case I received a 1099-OID and two 1099-B documents (one for short term and one for long term). Prosper breaks down what documents you will receive on the help section of their website.

My 1099-OID outlined the interest received of $1,226.42 and below that is my 1099-B outlining proceeds and losses from charged off loans. Although these documents look different than the ones Lending Club provides, the information and how it should be reported on your taxes is the same.

 

Capital losses first offset capital gains. With no capital gains, the losses will be deducted from ordinary income. Depending on your ordinary income tax rate, this means that your capital losses may be offset first by long-term gains that have more favorable tax treatment, usually 15% (depending on your income), as opposed to your potentially higher ordinary income tax rate. Short-term gains on the other hand have a higher tax rate, similar to the ordinary income tax rates (see Capital gains tax in the U.S.).

Online lender SoFi inks pricey office lease at 860 Washington (The Real Deal), Rated: A

The $4.3 billion startup inked a lease at the Meatpacking District’s 860 Washington Street covering the full second floor, which sits level with the High Line and the millions of visitors who traverse the trendy park each year, sources told The Real Deal.

The 10-year lease covers 13,000 square feet of space in the 10-story building developed by Property Group Partners and Romanoff Equities, with 280 feet of frontage along the High Line and West 13th Street. Asking rent in the deal was $155 per square foot.

Goldman Sachs: Would you trust its robo advisors with your money? (Independent), Rated: A

It’s almost always close to the top of the list when companies are seeking advisors to help them out with deals. And it’s not just wealthy and powerful corporations that beat a path to its door. The wealthy and powerful individuals that run them also seek its advice when it comes to their personal finances.

There are a lot of people lower down the food chain that might quite like the idea of showing off about the performance of an investment portfolio created for them by Robo Sachs. Yeah, this new set of golf clubs? Robo-Sachs came through for me. You should try it!

However, a lot of finance houses are working on similar projects, so if Goldman is planning to create Robo Sachs to advise the mass market, it wouldn’t be alone.

Deutsche Bank launches tech startup lab in New York City (Reuters), Rated: A

Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) has opened a new center in New York to work with financial technology startups that can help it improve its technology.

Based in Lower Manhattan’s Fulton Center, the lab’s team will help the bank deploy technology in artificial intelligence, cloud and cyber security and other areas, the German bank said on Tuesday.

London-based fintech company WorldRemit launches in Hawaii (Biz Journals), Rated: A

WorldRemit, which was founded in 2010, is available in more than 50 countries and allows users to send money to more than 140 countries.

For China’s middle class, Brooklyn real estate offers more than a green card (CNBC), Rated: A

Since the Great Recession, snapping up prime real estate in coastal American cities, sometimes sight unseen, has become an increasingly popular sport with China’s wealthy. In 2014, for the first time, the Chinese bought more Manhattan apartments than did the Russians, according to Reuters. The strength of the U.S. dollar compared to the fragile yuan is making China’s middle class a major force in the Brooklyn real estate market. The existing cultural infrastructure of its Chinatowns aside, the potential profit margin of owning property in Brooklyn’s up-and-coming areas is hard to beat.

Despite the $50,000 cap, China’s foreign direct investment in the United States hit a record $45.6 billion in 2016, according to a report by the Rhodium Group, a policy group that tracks global economic trends. That figure is triple the recorded amount of FDI that flowed from China to the United States in 2015, making the United States the world’s largest recipient of Chinese foreign direct investment.

For Chinese real estate investors who can’t reach the $50,000 level, or the combined $500,000 that often leads to working with a broker, smaller sums can now be invested through real estate crowdfunding platforms.

RealtyMogul’s Cofounder & CEO Jilliene Helman On The Future Of Investing (Forbes), Rated: A

Since launching, the company has funded more than $260 million in real estate transactions and raised more than $45 million from notable investors, including Canaan Partners and Sorenson Capital.

Helman has underwritten over $5 billion of real estate and was previously a vice president of Union Bank, where she spent time in wealth management, finance and risk management.

Jilliene Helman:We’ve done $260 million in transactions and we share the results of all of those transactions. Newer platforms don’t have the track record and history, nor the processes, as a result.

We’ve built our own internal real estate software to help analyze the credit quality of real estate investments.

We have over 110,000 investors on our platform which allows us to have more capital to place with real estate companies.

Our first REIT, MogulREIT I, is a public non-traded REIT. That means that it is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but is not traded on a stock exchange.

We spend over $1 million annually on data and technology to bring the most thorough credit analysis and underwriting to each investment opportunity.

All investments are carefully analyzed across four dimensions:

  1. People
  2. Location
  3. Property
  4. Third Parties

Cross River Names Regulatory Expert David Cotney to Board of Directors (BusinessWire), Rated: B

Cross River today announced the appointment of David Cotney to the bank’s Board of Directors. Mr. Cotney joins a team of experienced banking, regulatory, business and technology leaders who work with Cross River’s executive management team to provide the bank’s strategic direction and regulatory compliance framework.

Mr. Cotney holds a Masters of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and an MBA from Boston University. He is a graduate Tufts University where he earned a BA in Political Science.

United Kingdom

What’s an IFISA? Many UK Investors Don’t Have a Clue (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Crowdstacker, a peer to peer lender that has received the necessary regulatory approval and is offering the IFISA, says that recent research indicates that about half of investors have never heard of an IFISA.

Crowdstacker found at the top of the list of investment priorities included fixed income (17%), the opportunity to self-select how and where their money is invested (18%), and tax efficiency (24%). About 50% of savers are unaware of IFISAs with 29% uncertain as to what an IFISA is (but may have heard the name) and 5% indicating they understand the IFISA well enough to explain it to others.

UK bank Tandem loses licence after funding blow (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Tandem, which is set to launch in the coming months as a mobile app-based bank, was due to receive £29m from House of Fraser, the UK department store chain that was bought by China’s Sanpower Group in 2014.

However, the bank said on Monday that House of Fraser had pulled its funding due to “uncertainty about whether China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange would approve the transaction”.

Tandem said it was still planning to unveil its app in the coming months, with the aim of helping people manage their money by categorising their spending. The bank is planning to offer credit cards later this year.

How a rise in institutional funds has changed the P2P lending landscape (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

A many-to-many model that works well and in which – much like the US experience – the lender base has changed quite a bit since it started. These online exchanges mostly appeared following the 2008 financial crisis to alleviate the shortfall in lending to individuals and were viable as a result of low-cost technology and fair margins. P2P today embraces lending to SMEs, student loans, personal credit and real estate lending.

Relendex launched its platform in 2013, so can claim to be one of the veterans. When platforms first start, they need to attract retail lenders (individuals) because institutions aren’t interested in these platforms until they scale up.

In the US, Lending Club started out with only retail lenders: the man or woman in the street looking for a return on their capital. Eventually the institutions began to take an interest in the space, and for good reason. First, the returns were good (averaging around 9% back then). Second, there was a good portfolio spread across thousands of personal loans (mostly from refinanced credit card debt) and the institutions didn’t need to do any administration to achieve that return. What’s not to like?

In the UK, that trend towards institutional lenders has also become evident. Some platforms even have the UK government or local authority funds as co-lenders. Investment trusts have been created just to lend through P2P platforms.

RateSetter recruits Richard Sollis as business development manager (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

RATESETTER’S commercial and residential property arm has appointed Richard Sollis as a business development manager.

Sollis (pictured) joins RateSetter Property Finance from Santander and will be based at the platform’s London office, taking on responsibility for the South and South West England.

RateSetter signs up to Women in Finance Charter (P2P Finance News), Rated: B

RATESETTER is among the latest round of firms to sign up to the government’s Women in Finance Charter, which aims to tackle gender inequality in financial services.

The ‘big three’ peer-to-peer lender is one of 122 firms that have now signed up to the Charter, employing over half a million people in the UK and covering almost 50 per cent of the financial services sector.

RateSetter is the second P2P lender to sign up to the Charter, alongside Landbay who joined last year.

Headache for savers as inflation soars to three-and-a-half year high (P2P Finance News), Rated: B

Figures from the Office for National statistics showed that UK inflation rose to 2.3 per cent in February, up from 1.8 per cent in January, exceeding analyst forecasts of 2.1 per cent.

“This might prompt more people to consider putting their money to work, by taking on some risk in order to earn a better return through peer to peer lending.”

European Union

Ireland’s fintech community grows as Circle and Kabbage to expand (Irish Times), Rated: AAA

Ireland’s fintech community is set to expand as social payments firm Circle announced plans to double its Irish workforce, while US firm Kabbage said it intends to base its European headquarters in Dublin.

Kabbage, a Georgia-based online financial technology company that provides funding through its automated lending platform, on Tuesday confirmed plans to set up shop in Ireland after one of its key investos secured a €50 million investment from a major State fund.

US private investment firm Reverence Capital Partners said it intends to create a number of high-quality financial services jobs in Ireland through its portfolio of companies following the investment from the Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), a State body controlled and managed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).

Separately, digital currency start-up Circle is to double staff numbers at its Dublin office over the next two years following a 300 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase in new customer acquisitions in the wake of its recent international expansion.

French retailer Carrefour launches new online banking service (Reuters), Rated: A

French retailer Carrefour on Tuesday joined the crowded French online banking field with the launch of C-zam, a current account for anyone over 18 that can be opened on presentation of two identity cards and activated online in 10 minutes.

Plassat said this month that Carrefour targeted a group business volume of 4 billion euros ($4.3 billion) from E-commerce by 2020 against 1.2 billion in 2016.

International

Klarna Brings Instant Financing Options To Shopify’s Online Merchants (Payment Week), Rated: AAA

Good news for thousands of online merchants in the U.S., U.K., and several other European countries, as they can now offer instant financing options to their customers courtesy of an integration between Klarna and Shopify.

Depending on the particular country involved, these options include flexible or fixed rate monthly payments, promotional interest rates and in Europe, the chance to delay payment for nearly 14 additional days at no extra cost.

According to PaymentsSource, countries include the U.S., U.K., Austria, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands.

China

Marketplace lending ABS in China and US show different credit challenges and strengths (Moody’s), Rated: AAA

Moody’s Investors Service says that the marketplace lending sectors in both China and the US have shown differences in their development and prevailing characteristics, while both have also experienced a string of governance and misconduct issues over the past two years that have marred investor confidence.

Moody’s Investors Service says that the marketplace lending sectors in both China and the US have shown differences in their development and prevailing characteristics, while both have also experienced a string of governance and misconduct issues over the past two years that have marred investor confidence.

In China, marketplace lending ABS may be exposed to commingling risk, while in the US, deal structures include features to mitigate such risk. In addition, in China, such ABS are exposed to set-off risks, while in the US, such risks do not exist.

Furthermore, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is still a significant part of the Chinese marketplace lending sector, but less so in the US.

Explaining the recent drop in P2P lending in China (The Asset), Rated: AAA

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor