Thursday November 7 2019, Weekly News Digest

Lending Club

News Comments Today’s main news: Prosper launches HELOCs with BBVA. LendingClub beats profit estimates. Pennsylvania fines SoFi subsidiary $110,000. Kabbage partners with GoDaddy. Zopa makes banking debut. RateSetter rolls out investor self-certification. Today’s main analysis: LendingClub Q3 earnings. International P2P lending volumes. Today’s thought-provoking articles: The hot stuff at Money 2020. China’s slowing economy. International […]

The post Thursday November 7 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Lending Club

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

Other

News Summary

United States

Prosper Officially Launches HELOCs with First Bank Partner BBVA (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

It was last November when we first heard that Prosper had plans to expand their offerings from personal loans into HELOCs.  In 2018 David Kimball noted that they would be partnering with banks on the new product and loans would be available both directly through Prosper.com and also as a white-labeled offering. Now we know their first bank partner is BBVA.

LendingClub beats profit estimates on higher fees, loans (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Online lending pioneer LendingClub Corp (LC.N) beat analysts’ estimates for third-quarter profit on Tuesday and forecast current-quarter largely above estimates, sending its shares up 4% in after-hours trading.

Transaction fees jumped 17% at the company, which helps connect customers looking for loans to individuals or institutional investors, such as banks, through its online marketplace.

Loan originations soared 16% to $3.35 billion in the third quarter, with total revenue rising 11% to $204.9 million.

LendingClub Q3 2019 Earnings Results Review (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

Revenue also topped records at $204.9 million, up 11% year over year. Losses narrowed to a GAAP net loss of just $400,000 compared to the prior year period where they lost $22.8 million. Adjusted net income came in at $8 million, up from a loss of $7.3 million in the prior year period.

Source: Lending Club

Pennsylvania regulators hit SoFi with enforcement action (American Banker), Rated: AAA

A subsidiary of Social Finance Inc. has agreed to pay a $110,000 fine in Pennsylvania after operating as a mortgage servicer for nearly a year without the required state licensing.

SoFi Lending Corp. is one of several mortgage companies that has been hit recently with enforcement actions in Pennsylvania after a change in state law in December 2017.

The new law required mortgage servicers that were operating in Pennsylvania to be licensed. Companies had until June 30, 2018, to apply without being penalized for unlicensed activity.

SoFi vs. Prosper: Which Personal Loan Lender Is Right for You? (credible), Rated: A

SoFi and Prosper are two companies that offer personal loans with competitive interest rates and no prepayment penalties. However, there are some major differences between the companies that could affect your decision on which one to choose.

Money 2020 Highlights, Jobs Report, Markets Doubt Fed (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

What’s Hot and What’s Not at Money 2020?

Attendance was at record levels. Here’s our view on the areas attracting the most attention at Money 2020:

  • Lending-as-a-Service: lenders that enable non-banks, banks and credit unions originate loans (e.g., loan origination software, digital experience, bank workflow software, etc.). Examples: Better, nCino, Happy Money (backed by CUNA Mutual), Alchemy, Splash Financial, Blend, Roostify
  • International Lending: Non-banks expanding access to credit, particularly in the LatAm markets. Examples: CrediJusto (Mexico SME), Addi (Colombia POS), Nova Credit
  • Underwriting infrastructure: Reducing OPEX or fraud risk thru automation. Examples: Ocrolus, Feedzai

The healthy Friday jobs report supports the ‘wait and see’ Fed view (although it is a backward looking indicator). The report indicated growth in employment of 128K in October and a tick-up in unemployment to 3.6%.

Source: WSJ, Labor Department, PeerIQ

Kabbage partners with GoDaddy to offer capital to entrepreneurs and SMBs (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

The partnership: Kabbage’s online lending platform is now available to GoDaddy’s U.S. customers to access a business line of credit in minutes.

  • Customers can access flexible lines of credit of up to $250,000 in minutes after filling out a short application.
  • Existing GoDaddy customers can get $100 off their first month’s fees
  • “We know that a lack of capital for marketing and other core activities remains a major roadblock to accelerate growth. Our partnership with Kabbage is key in our ongoing mission to empower our customers and provide them with the resources they need to fuel their business needs,” said Melissa Schneider, GoDaddy’s vice president of global marketing operations.

Ron Suber Shares Perspective on Fintech (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Ron Suber is one of the better-known names in the Fintech sector. Originally, Suber’s role as the President of the marketplace lending platform Prosper Marketplace brought Suber’s name to prominence as the Fintech emerged as an early leader in the US online lending market. Since departing Prosper’s management team several years ago, Suber has been associated with multiple Fintech’s as an investor, advisor or, perhaps, a board member. Today, Suber has invested in more than a dozen Fintech companies

Real estate crowdfunding startup CrowdStreet turns to its customers to raise $ 12M round (GeekWire), Rated: A

CrowdStreet, a Portland-based commercial real estate crowdfunding startup, has raised a big new funding round, with a twist. Instead of relying solely on venture capital investors, the startup turned to its own community of real estate investors and developers to raise the bulk of the money for its Series C round.

The result: CrowdStreet this morning announced it has raised $12 million, primarily from the users of its platform, bringing lifetime funding to $25 million.

CrowdStreet lands $ 12M in financing, hires execs (The Real Deal), Rated: B

Robert Stiles, former chief financial officer at LendingHome, joined as CFO/COO. Londa Quisling was named chief technology officer, after serving as chief product officer at Treehouse. And John Havens, previously of BNY Mellon, joined as vice president of capital markets.

Inside Affirm’s ID Verification And Fraud Prevention Techniques (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Many consumers do not have funds readily on hand to make big purchases like electronics or furniture and prefer turning to instant loan apps like Affirm, a point-of-sale installment lender established in 2013, rather than going into debt with a bank or credit card provider. Customers may feel thankful to be able to pay off a purchase over a year, but not at the cost of losing their identities to fraudsters or scammers.

Max Levchin backs digital banking startup built to reward savers (Finextra), Rated: A

A new digital banking platform promising to help reward people for positive financial behaviour has closed a $3.5 million seed round led by Accomplice Ventures and Walkabout Ventures nd joined by PayPal founder Max Levchin’s startup studio.

According to Moody Analytics, an average person under the age of 35 saves -1.8% of their income. HMBradley is promising to tackle this by increasing awareness and rewarding people for saving more.

LA is fast becoming a fintech hub as HMBradley launches another West Coast challenger bank (TechCrunch), Rated: B

Add HMBradley to the list of Los Angeles-based startups looking to shake up the world of high finance typically dominated by East Coast giants with names like JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

Building A Challenger Bank That Actually Challenges Traditional Banking (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Minus the CEOs at the top-10 largest banks in the U.S., whose main concern is probably figuring how to deal with their trillions of dollars’ worth of assets, nearly the entirety of bank CEOs outside that tier have one primary concern, according to Bruhnke: How do they grow deposits? Meanwhile, he noted, bank customers also have a singular desire: How do they make the most money on the funds they have deposited?

How Goldman Sachs plans to boost its reputation with online bank Marcus (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Goldman Sachs’ upstart digital consumer bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, will help boost the reputation of its parent company, one of its leaders told Yahoo Finance recently.

The OCC Fintech Charter Is Down, but Maybe Not Out (Lexology), Rated: A

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) recently faced another setback in its attempt to issue a special purpose national bank charter tailored to fintech companies (fintech charter). A federal district court in New York held that the OCC does not have the authority to grant charters to companies that do not accept deposits. The ruling is a blow to the OCC’s efforts to provide new avenues for innovation in financial services. The fintech charter would allow fintech companies, which do not accept deposits like traditional banks, to benefit from the same preemption of state laws and licensing requirements as national banks.

Troubled Fintech Charter: How More Delays Impact Competitive Situation (The Financial Brand), Rated: A

The other is Varo, which initially considered going for an OCC special purpose charter but then decided to apply for a full-service charter. Varo has preliminary approval from OCC and awaits approval of its FDIC deposit insurance application. Below, we look at how Lending Club, the online marketplace consumer loan platform, is exploring chartering options.

Crypto APIs Launches Trading APIs, Allowing Users to Leverage Multiple Crypto Exchange Accounts (Cryptovest), Rated: A

The Trading APIs service provides one Unified API that has integrated multiple crypto exchanges. Thus, users will now be able to link multiple exchange accounts to their profile, collect data and execute their portfolio management trades from a single point.

Crypto APIs is used by thousands of developers to create products like Crypto exchanges, Crypto wallets, Trading bots, Crypto PSP, Arbitrage solutions, Crypto Lending solutions and many more.

Brex And Bank Of The West Team On Co-Branded Credit Card (Forbes), Rated: A

Brex, the fintech credit card startup, is teaming up with Bank of the West, the subsidiary of BNP Paribas, to roll out a co-branded credit card. It marks the first co-branded credit card to come out of Brex which caters to startups and entrepreneurs.

Washington flexes its muscles on small-business lending (American Banker), Rated: A

In one instance, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency angered borrower advocates by siding in court with a high-cost business lender. In the other, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau signaled its intention to move forward with a small-business lending rule that has languished for nine years amid sharp disagreements over its proper scope.

USA Continues to be a Top Location for Fintech Events (Fintech News), Rated: A

On the global fintech scene, the US has been amongst the top leaders, accounting for 57% of the fintech market in 2018, according to a Mordor Intelligence research.

Fintech continues its momentum this year, with investment in US fintech companies surging to US$12.7 billion in the first half of 2019. That represents a 60% increase in value of deals and signals a trend of larger deals in already the world’s biggest and most active fintech market, according to data from Accenture.

Legitimate Shoppers Take Advantage of Deals, Outpacing Seasonal Growth in Fraudsters (Riskified Email), Rated: A

A new report from 

Elevate Credit to Attend the Stephens 2019 Investment Conference (BusinessWire), Rated: B

Elevate Credit, Inc. (NYSE: ELVT) today announced that its Interim Chief Executive Officer, Jason Harvison, and Chief Financial Officer, Chris Lutes, will attend the Stephens 2019 Nashville Investment Conference on November 14th at the Omni Nashville Hotel. Mr. Harvison and Mr. Lutes will be available for 1×1 meetings with investors.

Michigan AG sues online tribal lender (Lexology), Rated: B

On October 31, the Michigan attorney general announced it filed a lawsuit against an online lender alleging the lender violated the CFPA and Michigan…

United Kingdom

Peer-to-peer lender Zopa makes banking debut as pressure mounts (City A.M.), Rated: AAA

Zopa, one of the UK’s three largest names in peer-to-peer lending, is to launch its first foray into banking after receiving partial authorisation last year.

RateSetter begins roll-out of investor self-certification (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

RATESETTER has begun asking its customers to confirm their investor status ahead of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) new marketing and disclosure rules that come into effect on 9 December.

iwoca hits £1bn lending milestone as headcount soars (AltFi), Rated: A

UK business lender nearly doubled its lending last year to £330m, helping the startup announce it has now reached a cumulative lending milestone of over £1bn.

The news comes as iwoca’s headcount has jumped 50% in the last 12 months, boosted further by the £10m BCR grant which the company secured in August to further expand its customer base.

China

China has a steady hand on its slowing economy, but can it prevent a crash landing? (SCMP), Rated: AAA

Year-on-year growth has fallen by 0.2 percentage points per quarter this year, from 6.4 per cent in the first quarter to 6.2 per cent in the second quarter and to 6 per cent in the most recent quarter.

China to Transform Remaining P2P Platforms (Finews.Asia), Rated: A

Recent data showed that the number of online P2P platforms plummeted to just 427 – a 59 percent drop compared to 2018-end. The total outstanding loan value and the number of borrowers also dropped correspondingly by 49 percent and 55 percent, respectively.

China is making rapid inroads towards reducing peer-to-peer lending risk to meet the 2020 target deadline but expects to keep alive the few remaining with strong fintech expertise and shareholder support.

China warned to avoid P2P lending mistakes in blockchain push (Tech in Asia), Rated: A

China has been warned to avoid the same mistakes with blockchain that it made with its peer-to-peer lending, as the government vowed a “thorough revamping” of the controversial lending platforms as part of a continuing battle against financial risk amid the domestic economic slowdown and the trade war with the US.

Chinese fintech players want to do a Xiaomi in lending. Caution: regulatory glare ahead (India Times), Rated: A

From adopting unique business models to routing investments through Singapore, Chinese lenders are trying every trick in the book to win the Indian fintech-lending space. But getting money to India, deploying it, and dealing with stringent KYC norms is easier said than done.

Asset management arbitration cases in China (Vantage Asia), Rated: A

The wave of closures of P2P platforms in China in the summer of 2018 garnered national attention. The latest blacklist for P2P lending published by “P2PEYE.COM” ( shows that as of the end of March 2019, the number of problematic P2P platforms reached 5,388.

European Union

Marks & Spencer Buy Now, Pay Later Option (The National Law Review), Rated: AAA

Klarna, a popular BNPL provider used by over 4,000 UK retailers, offers three types of BNPL service:

  1. delayed payment up to 30 days after purchase. This incurs no interest or fees, providing the payment is made within the timeframe.
  2. instalment options whereby the purchaser can pay in three equal, interest-free payments every 30 days.
  3. flexible financing, which spreads the cost of larger purchases into manageable monthly payments. The term for this repayment option ranges from six to 36 months.

Upcoming maintenance affecting ability to view orders (Klarna), Rated: A

On Wednesday 6th November at 05:00 CEST, we will perform an important technical maintenance which will prevent customers from seeing some order details within the Klarna app for a short time. We expect this maintenance to take approximately 15 minutes, after which time full details of orders will become accessible again.

LendIt Fintech Europe 2019 Slide Presentations Now Live (LendIt), Rated: AAA

Below, you can find the presentations from keynote speakers at the event, as well as the different track presentations.

Lending Innovations

More presentations here.

International

Beijing may cull a stateside unicorn stampede (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Chinese firms have raised just $3 billion from American exchanges so far this year, less than a third of the 2018 total. In the last week of October, however, half a dozen companies filed for initial public offerings in New York, bringing the total backlog of Chinese floats to 24, according to data from Refinitiv. Rising trade uncertainties, tougher listing requirements on the NASDAQ and an upcoming U.S. presidential election have sparked fears that 2020 may prove even more volatile for debutants.

International P2P Lending Volumes October 2019 (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

Mintos leads ahead of Zopa and Ratesetter. The total volume for the reported marketplaces in the table adds up to 703 million Euro.

Milestones in cumulative volume lent crossed this month:

Asia

P2P lending platform Validus expands into Vietnam (Business Times), Rated: AAA

SMEs make up 97 per cent of Vietnam’s enterprises, but only account for 22 per cent of total bank lending. To meet a US$21 billion SME financing gap in the country, Validus Vietnam will partner corporates to provide SME growth financing to their vendors and subcontractors.

How South Korea’s PeopleFund Is Shaking Up P2P Lending (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Joey Kim, chief executive officer at PeopleFund, discusses what his company does, the growth drivers for his company, his latest funding round, P2P lending in South Korea, regulation, the possibility of consolidation in the industry and how the Korean economic headwinds are impacting his business. He speaks exclusively on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Asia.”

Vietnam’s IT Sector: 5 Industries to Watch (Vietnam Briefing), Rated: A

Vietnam’s fintech industry is expected to reach US$7.8 billion in revenue by 2020. A rising middle class, growing internet usage, and a young population present a great combination for the fintech sector to thrive. An estimated 120 companies and brands cover a wide range of services, from digital payments to wealth management and blockchain.

Fintech help banks broaden customer base (The Jakarta Post), Rated: A

Instead of competing against each other, banks and financial technology (fintech) companies are joining hands and combining their resources to tap into the country’s growing financial services market.In an effort to keep up-to-date with recent technology and stay relevant amid the latest changes in financial services, many banks have signed partnership deals or bought into nimble start-ups as an alternative to building costly technology projects.For the banks, the logic behind a partnership with fintech companies is simple: It gives them the opportunity to reach a wider customer base, unlock their technological capabilities without having to buy one of their own and penetrate the country’s unbanked population — all without having to spend too much money.“We are partnering with 12 fintech companies from peer-to-peer [P2P] lending and payment apps to SME [small, middle, enterprise]…

Latin America

Preview of LendIt Fintech’s inaugural LatAm conference (LendIt), Rated: AAA

Temenos’ report tags financial inclusion as LatAm bankers’ priority (IBS Intelligence), Rated: A

Temenos has concluded the LatAm results for its annual retail banking survey, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The survey titled ‘A whole new world: How technology is driving the evolution of intelligent banking in Latin America’ stated that 35% of retail bankers prioritize investments in digital technologies along with cost-cutting or margin improvement for furthering their financial inclusion goal.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday November 7 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday August 29 2019, Weekly News Digest

VC-backed fintech

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

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

VC-backed fintech

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

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

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

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

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

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

2019-P2

Class

Preliminary Rating

Initial Class Principal

A

A+ (sf)

$200,700,000

B

A- (sf)

$37,900,000

C

BB (sf)

$49,200,000

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Business Insider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United Kingdom

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

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

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

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

Source: Business Insider

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

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

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

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

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

Know Your Money data revealed that:

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

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

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

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

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

European Union

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

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

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

Source: Business Insider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Australia/New Zealand

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

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

2019 Finder Awards winners (Finder), Rated: AAA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Business Insider

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

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

Canada

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

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

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

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

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

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

Wednesday August 1, 2018 Daily News Digest

Global Banking Executives Biggest Challenges

News Comments Today’s main news: OCC approves fintech charter. Microsoft, Nationwide invest in BlueVine. UK overtakes US in fintech investment. P2PFA members take in over 300M GBP from IFISAs. Today’s main analysis: Trump Administration hugs fintech. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Online lenders, payment companies can act more like banks. How Revolut reduced fraud by 30%. Chinese P2P lending under severe challenges. Fintechs […]

Global Banking Executives Biggest Challenges

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

Other

News Summary

United States

After years of debate, OCC to offer fintech charter (American Banker) Rated: AAA

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced Tuesday that it would move ahead to consider special-purpose charter applications from fintech firms, ending the guessing game over whether the agency was serious about giving fintechs a federal option.

The decision, unveiled just hours after the Treasury Department released a report endorsing a national fintech charter, means fintech firms that opt for the charter could soon be regulated more like banks on a national scale.

Fintech Gets a Hug From the Trump Administration (Barron’s) Rated: AAA

The Treasury Department released a report today with more than 80 recommendations that are aimed at tailoring regulations for nonbank financial institutions and encouraging the development of financial technology.

Source: U.S. Treasury Department
Source: U.S. Treasury Department

Read the full report here.

Securitizations swell as marketplace lending matures (GlobalCapital) Rated: A

A report out of the Department of the Treasury on Tuesday notes that the growth of marketplace lending has fueled ABS deals in the sector.

Marketplace lenders have originated some $100bn in loans since 2014, with unsecured consumer debt accounting for 50% of total volume.

The strong pace of originations has fueled consumer securitization issuance, with the number of marketplace loan ABS deals ballooning every year since 2013.

Online Lenders and Payment Companies Get a Way to Act More Like Banks (The New York Times) Rated: AAA

Online lenders and other so-called fintech firms — including the payment processor Square, the online lender Lending Club and the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase — have pressed for regulatory routes that would let them cut through the thicket of state and federal laws that govern financial businesses.

Heeding those requests, the Treasury Department released a 222-page report laying out the Trump administration’s view on how nonbank financial companies should be regulated. Hours later, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a national bank regulator, announced a new kind of charter that would potentially free such companies from the state-by-state approvals they currently need to offer loans and other financial products.

Source: Treasury.gov

Read the complete report here.

CSBS Responds to Treasury, OCC Fintech Announcements (CSBS) Rated: A

We appreciate the Treasury’s recognition of the vital role performed by state regulators in overseeing nonbank financial service providers. And we are pleased that Treasury noted the substantial progress states have made towards harmonizing the multistate experience for industry.

At the same time, we disagree with certain Treasury recommendations. We do not support creation of new federal rules or unauthorized federal charters that would seek to compromise the ability of state officials to apply and enforce state laws. And so, we disagree with Treasury’s recommended changes to the valid-when-made doctrine and the true-lender doctrine, and the creation of an OCC special purpose bank charter for fintech companies.

An OCC fintech charter is a regulatory train wreck in the making.

Microsoft’s M12 joins $ 12 million funding extension for fintech startup BlueVine (Venture Beat) Rated: AAA

Fintech startup BlueVine has added $12 million to its recently announced series E round of funding, bringing Microsoft’s venture capital (VC) unit M12 onboard alongside the VC arm of finance giant Nationwide.

The additional funding brings BlueVine’s total series E round to $72 million, after the company announced an initial $60 million cash injection just two months ago.

BlueVine has now raised around $590 million in funding since its inception, though it’s worth noting that around three-quarters of that came in the past year via debt financing.

Small-Biz Talks: StreetShares on Small Business Lending (Value Penguin) Rated: A

On average, veterans are getting, through us, about 2% to 3%lower interest rates than nonveterans. That’s an internal discount that we give. Comparing us to an OnDeck or a Kabbage, we are probably half the average APR of OnDeck and probably a quarter of Kabbage. They may disagree with that, but that’s our numbers.

Online Lending Needs More Regulation: New York Regulator (BNA) Rated: A

Notably, a group of lenders that is currently not subject to licensing – those making loans between 7 and 16 percent – would have to become Licensed Lenders. As a result, those lenders would have to complete the licensing process, pay the associated fees, and would then be subject to supervision and examinations by the NYDFS.

Additionally, any nonbank that lends to a New York borrower, either directly or through a partnership, would have to comply with New York’s usury limit. This rule is already in effect for servicers that acquire loans originated by banks, due to the Second Circuit’s decision in Madden v. Midland Funding. However, the NYDFS recommendation would potentially expand that rule to loans originated by lending companies organized by Native American tribes, among other situations.

Gusto raises $ 140 million to go after small business payroll and benefits with more gusto (TechCrunch) Rated: A

Gusto, which sells payroll, benefits and human resources management and monitoring services to small businesses, has raised $140 million in its latest round of funding.

The company said it will use the money to add new services to increase payment flexibility for employees. The company launched a new service called Flexible Pay, which gives employees a way to get paid no matter when a company’s pay schedule dictates. It seems sort of like a payday loan, where a percentage of the salary is taken by Gusto  for providing money upfront.

Elevate Credit, Inc. (ELVT) CEO Kenneth Rees on Q2 2018 Results – Earnings Call Transcript (Seeking Alpha) Rated: A

Before I catch on the specific highlights for Q2, I’d like to restate, as I usually do, our commitment to use technology and advanced analytics to be the most responsible lender in our space and to make a positive impact in the lives of our customers. As Slide 3 shows, we’ve now extended more than $5.9 billion in credit to more than 2 million nonprime consumers. We’ve come to call the 170 million consumers in the U.S. and U.K. who are credit constrained, the new middle class. And we’re proud to announce on this call that Elevate products have now saved our customers more than $4 billion over what they would’ve paid for legacy products like payday loans.

Elevate Credit (ELVT) Issues FY18 Earnings Guidance (Press Oracle) Rated: A

Elevate Credit (NYSE:ELVT) updated its FY18 earnings guidance on Monday. The company provided EPS guidance of $0.55-0.90 for the period, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus EPS estimate of $0.72. The company issued revenue guidance of $790-810 million, compared to the consensus revenue estimate of $803.81 million.

Several brokerages have recently weighed in on ELVT. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Elevate Credit from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $11.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, July 24th.

Nobody Says ‘Zelle Me’: Banks Struggle to Catch Up to Venmo (Wall Street Journal) Rated: A

A year in, Zelle’s reviews are mixed. Usage is up, but most banks haven’t signed on, meaning many consumers can’t use it without downloading a separate app. It also fell short of its goal to have 33 banks on the network by its first anniversary, and behind the scenes, it runs on plumbing that’s more than 40 years old.

Zelle’s rocky debut shows the challenges of trying to make alterations to an industry often slow to change and still weighed down by old infrastructure.

Go Midwest, young fintechs (American Banker) Rated: A

For startups, they are not the obvious places to settle down. While fintech is flush with venture capital, three states — California, Massachusetts and New York — gobble up 75% of all VC funds. Yet if there is a good time to go against the odds, it might be now. These days, it has become fashionable for venture capitalists to say they are scouting for opportunities beyond the coasts.

Most visibly, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest seed fund, co-founded by AOL co-founder Steve Case, continues to make a splash by investing in all kinds of startups across America to promote growth and increase investment capital. As Case blogged, “People know that the future of America is tied to more than just three cities, and there is an eagerness, now more than ever, to address the investment gap.”

Bill to enhance poor credit scores will backfire, critics say (American Banker) Rated: A

Legislation to enhance credit scores by allowing consumers to include data about their monthly bills has broad bipartisan support, but some consumer advocates and others question whether the legislation may backfire on those it is meant to help.

The measure, which passed the House earlier this month and is authored by Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., is intended to allow consumers to benefit from positive information about lease, telecommunications and utility payments in their credit reports. An identical version has been introduced by Sens. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in the upper chamber.

A CEO used to think student loans were predatory, but he’s changed his mind (Business Insider) Rated: A

Last week, LendingTree acquired Student Loan Hero for $60 million. In an interview with Business Insider, Josuweit reflected on how his view of the student-loan industry had changed since launching his business.

Today, Student Loan Hero offers users financial-comparison tools and personalized advice for paying off student loans, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach.

Josuweit said he had also softened his stance on student loans in general. Where he once saw them as predatory, he now considers them a valuable tool when used wisely.

Kroger stops accepting Visa credit cards at some stores (Cincinnati Business Courier) Rated: A

Kroger Co. has quit accepting Visa credit cards at some of its stores in a battle against rising fees charged by the credit card giant.

Blockchain’s Spring Labs Appoints Peter Tapling Chief Commercial Officer (Block Tribune) Rated: B

Blockchain’s Spring Labs names Peter Tapling, an identity and payments expert, as chief commercial officer and head of industry relations. He will be responsible for overseeing Spring Lab’s network development, industry awareness, partnerships and commercialization. He will report directly to CEO and Founder of Spring Labs, Adam Jiwan, and will be based in Spring Labs’ Chicago office.
United Kingdom

UK overtakes US on Fintech investment for first half of 2018 (Business Matters) Rated: AAA

The UK has overtaken the US in terms of fintech investment for the first half of the year, and taken the top spot in Europe to attract $16.1bn (£12.3bn) out of the EUs $26bn total.

Four of Europe’s top 10 fintech deals happened in the UK, which included a $250m raise by Revolut, $100m by eToro, $60m by Flender and $54m by Moneyfarm. Data provided by KPMG’s pulse of fintech report has allayed fears that Brexit would hurt the UK’s startup scene, as venture capital firms have cemented the UK’s position as a funding hot spot.

Fintech investment across the world reached record levels over the last six months, taking in $57.9bn across 875 deals. This was an increase of 34.2 per cent compared to the whole of 2017, which recorded just $38.1bn overall.

P2PFA member platforms secure over £300m from IFIsa investments (Bridging & Commercial) Rated: AAA

Members of the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) have seen 28,000 Innovate Finance Isas (IFIsas) opened, with more than £300m of funds already under management, according to the latest figures.

The six P2PFA member platforms which offer an IFIsa are: 

• Crowdstacker
• Folk2Folk
• Funding Circle
• Landbay
• Lending Works
• Zopa

UK neobank Revolut has reduced fraud by 30% – here’s how (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

UK-based neobank Revolut launched disposable virtual cards in March , and has now reported that they resulted in a 30% reduction in card fraud cases.

Disposable virtual cards provide users with card details that get destroyed right after making an online purchase, and new details are made seconds after the previous ones are scrapped. This way, a merchant can’t charge the customer again, as they don’t have the person’s actual card information.

This fraud reduction announcement comes at the right time for Revolut. Earlier in July, we reported that the neobank had discovered potential money laundering activity on its digital payments system a few months back. It informed the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), suggesting that the severity of the issue was high, as conventionally companies just inform the NCA.

Source: Business Insider

FCA regulation sees an increase in consumer confidence for loans (Financial News) Rated: A

It’s an industry that has often come under intense scrutiny, but the high cost short term loans sector has seen a significant increase in consumer confidence. This comes as a result of the FCA facilitating dramatic changes and the enforcement of new regulations. In fact, a recent review by the FCA has stated that the noticeable improvements in the payday loan industry means that it will now not be reviewing this sector again until 2020. We take a look at the reasons why the FCA has successfully increased consumer confidence in the high-cost short term loan industry.

UK Regulators Taking Very Close Look At P2P Lending (PYMNTS) Rated: A

According to the U.K. Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA), a self-regulating P2P industry group that includes most of the biggest names in U.K. marketplace lending, the country’s P2P lending industry had hit £9 billion in loan originations from the group’s members as of Q1 2018.

The figures also reflected having provided finance for approximately 50,000 businesses and 221,000 individuals overall, with a total investor count of about 150,000. According to the The Times of London, those figures are even higher – though they agree on the 150,000 investor count, they think about £10 billion in total loans have been underwritten.

Will New P2P Rules Hit SME Funding? (Forbes) Rated: A

The Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s chief financial watchdog, has just spent months investigating the sector, where it has already intervened with new rules once to safeguard investors. Now the FCA says the sector has further problems that must be addressed, including poor standards of disclosure, opaque pricing structures, over-optimistic marketing claims and poor record-keeping. It is consulting on a series of potential reforms and has also warned individual businesses in the industry could be investigated for compliance failures.

Much of the regulator’s ire is reserved for the peer-to-peer lending sector, where online platforms facilitate loans from investors to consumers or small businesses. While defaults have been relatively rare – though the regulator points out most platforms have not been tested through a complete economic cycle – the FCA is worried that investors are sometimes being given false expectations about the returns they should expect.

QuickISA Launches Free Search Engine to Discover Profitable Savings and P2P Finance Schemes (Perfect Investor) Rated: A

Past economic turbulence, the recession, and the uncertainty over Brexit and its impact on future investments, has made it imperative for every investor to keep an eye on their investments.  Individual Saving Accounts (ISAs) are a great way to earn tax-free interest on your investment. But which ISA is the most profitable? This question can now be easily answered with the new online service offered by QuickISA.

Legal & General invests £3m in lendtech Smartr365 (FinTech Futures) Rated: A

Legal & General’s (LG) fintech business has made a £3 million investment in Smartr365, a Software-as-a-Service firm which supplies systems to the UK mortgage intermediary market.

Conor Murphy, director, Smartr365, says the new funding will be used for product development – such as its LendrConnect, a mortgage API service that allows brokers to submit mortgages.

China

The Chinese P2P Lending Sector Facing Severe Challenges Right Now (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

Back then new platforms were launching pretty much every day as p2p lending became the hot new investment. The number of platforms grew to well over 3,000, a number that everyone agreed was not sustainable. But new platforms kept on launching, attracting both investors and borrowers with relative ease.

We all knew the party was going to end at some point and it looks like 2018 will be the year of reckoning. According to industry data provider, Wangdaizhijia (loosely translated as Online Lending House), platforms are failing at a rate of around five a day with 114 platforms shutting down between July 1 and July 24.

Xiaomi’s risky play with P2P lenders: another reason to be bearish (Kr-ASIA) Rated: A

But in the lead up to the company’s IPO earlier this month – which continues to be a rocky one – its founder LEI Jun went all in to deliver his bigger vision: Xiaomi isn’t a gadget maker, it’s an internet company. One that gathers data from a network of smartphones and other internet-enabled devices, and sells additional “online services” – things like utility apps and content, created by partners. In other words, a platform business built around the Xiaomi brand and gadgets ecosystem.

Well, large parts of China’s P2P sector were crumbling after a government crackdown. For some, it came too late – they had trusted sites with their savings in hopes of getting the promised returns.

Xiaomi had an explanation: It doesn’t have anything to do with those lenders. It only let them use its platform for advertising purposes.

European Union

Big Red Cloud becomes the latest SME to raise funds through Flender (Silicon Republic) Rated: AAA

Irish accountancy firm Big Red Cloud raises thousands in partnership with alternative-lending firm Flender.

Alternative-lending platform Flender has added another successful SME funding partnership to the pile, with Irish accountancy software company Big Red Cloud raising €31,500 in just 24 hours.

SMEs benefit from different lending models

O’Dwyer said it was encouraging to see the normalisation of alternative-lending models such as Flender as a credit option for SMEs and a novel opportunity for investors.

DGAP-News: Varengold Bank AG: Preliminary figures for first half of 2018 (Markets Insider) Rated: A

In the first half of 2018, the total assets increased significantly from EUR 445.2 million to nearly EUR 665.5 million. Customer deposits continue to be the dominant amount on the liabilities side with EUR 599.3 million and therefore 90%.

The company’s interest result increased due to the expanded lending volume from TEUR 2,047 in the first half of 2017 to TEUR 3,429 in the first half of 2018. The commission result remained almost constant at TEUR 8,108 in the first half of 2018 (30th June 2017: TEUR 5,818).

International

Fintech vendors keep reinventing themselves, and banks struggle to keep up (American Banker) Rated: AAA

There were 70 mergers and acquisitions among fintechs in the U.S., Canada and South America in the first quarter, and those deals were worth a combined $3.4 billion, according to a fintech investment report issued by KPMG on Tuesday.

The number of deals fell to 60 in the second quarter, but the total value rose to $5.8 billion. M&A activity in this field is expected to remain “very healthy [in] 2018 on the whole,” the report said.

The investment flow is also breeding new companies looking for bank clients. American fintechs, the report noted, attracted $14.2 billion in overall funding in the first half of 2018.

What that means for all banks is when it comes to tech, there’s plenty to ponder: more options for their front- and back-office operations; more retail and commercial service improvements to consider; more new vendors that will be seeking their business; and more fintech investment opportunities to pursue.

Source: American Banker

UK fintech scores the global top spot for investment in the first half of 2018 (City A.M.) Rated: A

China came in second place with $15.1bn, followed by the US with $14.2bn.

Four of Europe’s top 10 fintech deals happened in the UK, which included a $250m raise by Revolut, $100m by eToro, $60m by Flender and $54m by Moneyfarm. Data provided by KPMG’s pulse of fintech report has allayed fears that Brexit would hurt the UK’s startup scene, as venture capital firms have cemented the UK’s position as a funding hot spot.

Fintech investment across the world reached record levels over the last six months, taking in $57.9bn across 875 deals. This was an increase of 34.2 per cent compared to the whole of 2017, which recorded just $38.1bn overall.

Interval Funds: A New Approach To Alternative Investing (Seeking Alpha) Rated: A

The way I view it is that interval funds are a great blend of the traditional closed-end fund that Tortoise is used to managing, along with the traditional mutual fund that we also have managed in the past and still do. Compared to other registered fund structures, they’re obviously less liquid than a mutual fund and a traditional closed-end fund, but they’re great for more long-term investors that aren’t looking to need liquidity quite as often. From our fund’s perspective, you can subscribe daily. You only have the option to redeem at certain periods, and that’s typically between 5 and 25 percent on a quarterly basis. From a liquidity standpoint, obviously, this is nice for folks that aren’t qualified purchasers that aren’t getting exposure to traditional private funds in the limited partnership structure.

Crypto Lending Platform Launched By CoinLoan (Block Tribune) Rated: A

Estonia-based startup CoinLoan has officially launched its crypto-to-fiat lending platform that allow users to HODL crypto and borrow fiat money.

For borrowers, the platform allows them to create an application for receiving a loan in the amount that does not exceed 70 percent of the current market value of the crypto collateral. This limitation has been created for preserving the crypto assets of the borrower and reducing risk related to the high volatility of the crypto asset market.

The platform currently supports bitcoin, ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, ZCash, and Ripple. Users can borrow a loan in the following fiat currencies: USD, EUR, GBP, CNY, JPY, RUB, CHF, PLN and CZK.

A blockchain solution for global peer-to-peer lending (Global Banking and Finance Review) Rated: A

A blockchain solution for global peer-to-peer lending is on the horizon, adding an exciting layer to an already booming sector which is expected to reach the $1 trillion mark by 2025.

The problem is, some aren’t excited by blockchain’s arrival. Experiencing Déjà vu? It’s easy to be transported back to the 1990s when the Internet was dismissed as just a “wasteland of unfiltered data”.

FintruX Network welcomes Bob Rinaldi to its Board of Directors (Leap Rate) Rated: B

FintruX Network, the global P2P lending ecosystem, has just announced a new addition to its Board of Directors, Bob Rinaldi, a serial entrepreneur and business director. FintruX Network is an online ecosystem that facilitates the lending and borrowing of finances to small businesses in a peer-to-peer marketplace powered by blockchain and no-code development.

Australia/New Zealand

Fintech startup Tic:Toc raises $ 11.5 million to take hassle out of home loan approvals (Smart Company) Rated: AAA

Aussie fintech startup Tic:Toc has raised $11.5 million in Series B funding in its bid to improve the customer service around home-loan approvals.

The funding round was led by Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia and La Trobe Financial, and also included some existing shareholders.

Heartland Bank unveils restructure plans (Interest) Rated: A

Heartland Bank says it’s planning a corporate restructure that will remove business growth constraints stemming from Reserve Bank regulation, and see it list on the Australian sharemarket.

The proposal is for a restructure of the Heartland Bank Ltd group of companies via a court approved scheme of arrangement under Part 15 of the Companies Act. The purpose of the restructure is to more clearly define the separation between Heartland Bank Ltd’s New Zealand and Australian businesses, and to enable it to access the most efficient forms of equity and debt funding, according to an NZX filing.

India

How RBI Is Solving P2P Lending Issues And India’s Credit Woes (Inc42) Rated: AAA

Over the past couple of years, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) in India have undergone major transformations to keep up with the growing demand in the country’s credit market.

Subsequent to the ease in regulations, a number of new NBFCs were established to supply credit to consumers. However, access to financial services was only restricted to a small segment of consumers/ borrowers with existing credit histories and profiles.

On the other hand, the unbanked sections of the population, or those with limited exposure to institutional credit were not affected much with these developments, finding themselves in more or less the same situation as before.

Latin America

Uruguay: Peer To Peer Lending In Uruguay (Mondaq) Rated: AAA

As the peer to peer lending market is quite embryonic, processional expertise is recommended to make sure the transactions are compliant and in keeping with existing and developing regulations.

Any new lending schemes in this field must be registered with the Central Bank of Uruguay, and payments must be legitimate and in line with existing regulations for the Prevention of Money Laundering.

Asia

Indonesian P2P lender Investree raises Series B round led by SBI Holdings (Deal Street Asia) Rated: AAA

Indonesian P2P firm Investree has announced the closing of a Series B investment in a round led by SBI Holdings and joined by Mandiri Capital Indonesia, Persada Capital, Endeavor Catalyst, 9F Fintech Holdings Group and previous backer Kejora Ventures.

The financial details of the round were not disclosed.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday May 29 2018, Daily News Digest

alternative loans

News Comments Today’s main news: How SoFi, Robinhood trick investors into saving money. The highest paying green IFISAs. Ant Financial’s $10B fundraising is oversubscribed. HashChing gets $700K loan. Today’s main analysis: Alternative loan borrowers may be traditional prospects. Today’s thought-provoking articles: The challenges online lenders would face in a recession. Crowdfunding in Switzerland is at a record high. Only 4% […]

alternative loans

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

Other

News Summary

United States

Designers at SoFi, Robinhood explain how they trick users into saving (and making) money (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

  • Personal finance apps have gained traction with customers — especially millennials — thanks to the ease with which they let users sock money away, save towards big goals, and make big purchases more possible.
  • From the loan refinancing company SoFi to the stock trading platform Robinhood, many of these companies are now worth billions of dollars thanks to enthusiastic investors.
  • At the heart of their success: A good product which combines smart design with financial psychology to convince users to meet the goals they set for themselves.
  • Here’s how the best companies in fintech design their apps to convince users to save and make money.

Alternative loan borrowers may be traditional prospects (Banking Exchange) Rated: AAA

The latest example of this comes from a new study by TransUnion that indicates that some borrowers who use “alternative loans” may actually be good candidates for traditional consumer credit products.

Alternative loans typically don’t appear in traditional credit bureau files. These services include short-term debt, such as “payday loans”; point-of-sale finance offered by retailers or third-party lenders; virtual “rent-to-own” finance; and auto-title loans.

Release coincides with OCC announcement

Elizabeth Pagel, vice-president, market strategy, consumer lending at TransUnion, notes that while many consumers in the FactorTrust database of alternative loan users skew subprime, nearly 40% are not subprime credits, and 12% are actually prime or above.

One example given by TransUnion demonstrating the general pattern concerns near-prime borrowers (those with VantageScore 3.0 credit scores of 601-660):

• About 14% of those borrowers with only one short-term loan went 90 days or more past due on a traditional account 12 months later.

• The delinquency level fell to less than 12% when a consumer possessed two alternative loans.

• The delinquency level fell to about 9% when a consumer had eight or more alternative loans over the course of seven years.

Source: Banking Exchange
Source: Banking Exchange

The Unique Challenges Online Lenders Would Face In A Recession (Forbes) Rated: AAA

Technology has reshaped the lending industry over the last decade. Companies like Lending Club, Prosper and SoFi built billion dollar business (even if valuations have come down from their respective peaks) by better connecting lenders to borrowers and streamlining what was previously a slow and bloated consumer lending process. Dozens more companies have launched in their wake and are contributing to this wave of change. In fact, TransUnion data shows that fintech lenders now account for over a third of personal loan origination by volume. That Goldman Sachs launched their own online lending business, Marcus, shows that much of this change is here to stay.

But these businesses have all come of age during an unprecedented period of economic expansion and low default rates. Low defaults have helped performance, while low yields in other asset classes have driven up investor demand for higher yielding personal loans.

If the market needed a warning sign, look no further than auto loans. Delinquencies in the subprime auto market have 

PeerStreet Review 2018 – Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform (Dough Roller) Rated: A

Some real estate investors come to the platform looking for financing, while others come looking for above average returns on their money.

The difference is that while other P2P platforms provide personal loans to individuals, PeerStreet supplies financing for real estate transactions. The purpose of the platform is to make these sophisticated investments in commercial real estate available to ordinary investors.

The loans are generally short-term, between six months and 24 months. They also have conservative loan-to-value (LTV) ratios, of not more than 75% of the value of the underlying property.

Types of loan investments include:

  • Single-family residential buy-to-rent properties
  • Single-family refinances
  • Single-family Value Add (This is a property that is purchased then renovated for sale, sometimes referred to as a fix-and-flip loan.)
  • Bridge loans

Kabbage Sees More Mobile Lending, Women and Minority Owned Businesses Seeking Funds (Small Business Trends) Rated: A

Online lending platform Kabbage says it sees more mobile lending, more women and minority owned businesses seeking loans and more businesses from rural and lower to middle income communities too.

Today 140,000 small businesses use Kabbage. Today, Kabbage has delivered over $4.5 billion in funding, moving the loan process from long lines at a physical bank to a  shorter wait on mobile or the web.

Expect More Bank Mergers After Dodd-Frank Rollback (Barrons) Rated: A

But the legislation known as the Crapo bill (named after Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo), which President Donald Trump signed into law on Thursday, could provide another boost to bank investors by unleashing mergers, dividend increases, and buybacks among regional and local banks.

By raising the threshold for stricter supervision under Dodd-Frank from $50 million in assets to $250 million, the new law effectively removes a disincentive for mergers and acquisitions.

Banks had been wary of doing deals that would put them over the $50 billion level, which required more capital and more stringent supervision. CIT Group’s (CIT) deal for OneWest was a rare case where an acquisition broke that barrier since Dodd-Frank was enacted in 2010.

Vermont Passes First-of-Its-Kind Law to Regulate Data Brokers (Gizmodo) Rated: A

Earlier this week, Vermont became the first state in the nation to enact a law that will regulate data brokers that buy and sell personal information in an attempt to add a new layer of accountability to the massive, data-trading companies that often operate without much oversight.

As TechCrunch noted, under the guidelines of the bill—which passed into law Tuesday without the signature of Republican Governor Phil Scott—data brokers will have to pay a $100 annual fee to register with the state, and will have to comply with new rules meant to protect Vermonters from suffering at the hands of another data breach like the one that befell Equifax last year and exposed the data of 145 million (and counting) Americans.

United Kingdom

The highest paying green IFISAs of 2018/19 (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

Earlier this year, Assetz Capital closed its Green Energy Account due to a lack of deal flow, while Trillion Fund closed in 2015 after the government scaled back its green energy subsidies.

So in alphabetical order, here are the highest-paying P2P green IFISAs available right now…

Abundance

  • Target returns for IFISA: 3-15 per cent

Downing Crowd

  • Target returns for IFISA: 3-7.6 per cent

Goji and Prestige-Prime Group

  • Target returns for ISA: 6.5-8.3 per cent

Triodos Crowdfunding

  • Target returns for IFISA: 5-7 per cent

Ethical bank Triodos launched its own P2P platform earlier this year, named Triodos Crowdfunding. Within the first few months of the year it had already funded seven projects, four of which were IFISA eligible.

Could savers be given access to multiple IFISAs each tax year? (Peer2Peer Finace) Rated: A

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) – an independent adviser to the government on simplifying the tax system – has said ISA rules should be made more simple for investors to administer.

It suggests changing the rule where only one type of ISA can be opened at a time and instead letting savers hold multiple products, such as more than one Innovative Finance ISA from different peer-to-peer lenders or a variety of cash ISAs, as long as they remain within the annual allowance.

Rage against robo-advice machines (FT Adviser) Rated: A

Despite the FCA offering this assistance now the regulator has found several causes for concern in the robo-advice that is being given to clients.

The watchdog revealed some robo-advice firms were failing to properly disclose prices and services, and crucially, the regulator flagged risks clients were not receiving suitable advice.

As a result, the FCA has required many of the robo-advisers which took part in the study to make “significant changes” to their businesses.

Christian Faes of LendInvest (Lend Academy) Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • How the financial crisis formed the backdrop for the founding of LendInvest.
  • How their first foray into raising capital online transformed their business.
  • The kinds of loans that LendInvest offers today.
  • The typical borrower who uses LendInvest today.
  • How they have applied technology to the borrowing process.
  • How they attract these kinds of borrowers.
  • The four different channels for investors.
  • Details of their London Stock Exchange listed bond.
  • What is being done in the UK to address the housing shortage there.
  • How Brexit has affected their business over the past two years.
  • Who has provided equity capital for LendInvest.
  • Christian’s thoughts on international expansion for LendInvest.
  • How he feels about a potential LendInvest IPO.

Crowdfunding faces withholding tax clampdown (The Times) Rated: A

Revenue has tightened the rules on peer-to-peer lending by requiring businesses that raise money through crowdfunding to deduct a 20% withholding tax on the interest they pay.

The move will make it harder for individuals to avoid tax when they use crowdfunding to lend spare cash to small businesses rather than earning paltry returns by leaving it on deposit.

Can this lending buy-to-let startup help agents sell more homes? (The Negotiator) Rated: A

A buy-to-let finance start-up founded by the entrepreneur behind crowd-funding mortgage firm Landbay says it wants to help agents sell properties faster and in greater volumes.

Officially launched this week after being set-up in November last year, Dot offers agents and developers a one-click buy-to-let purchase button for their ‘properties for sale’ listings (see mock-up above) which, the company’s claims suggest, could offer an antidote to the current sluggish sales market.

After clicking the button, investors will be offered the opportunity to buy the property on the spot if they put down a 30% cash deposit via Dot.

FCA urged to extend cap on payday loan fees to other forms of credit (The Guardian) Rated: B

The City watchdog is facing mounting pressure to extend its cap on payday lending fees and interest to a broader range of high-cost financial products before a major review of lending practices this week.

Likely to result in a series of new rules for banks and finance companies, the review comes as hard-pressed Britons increase their personal borrowing to levels unseen since the financial crisis.

China

China: WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Ant Financial’s $10-billion fund-raising faced oversubscription

The ongoing $10-billion fund-raising of Ant Financial Services has attracted the attention of multiple investors.

According to informed sources, investors expected to participate in this round of financing include private equity group Carlyle, General Atlantic, Silver Lake, Sequoia Capital China, Warburg Pincus, sovereign wealth fund Temasek, institutional funds Canada Pension Plan Investment Committee (CPPIB) and BlackRock; while many other investors were rejected.

According to a person involved in the funding, this round of financing will value Ant Financial at more than US$150 billion. 

Traditional banks can be the ‘trusted face’ of fintech and online finance firms (South China Morning Post) Rated: A

While banks see fintech as their biggest threat, they can use their trusted position among customers and regulators to collaborate in the shift to digital banking, software firm Temenos says

In a recent survey of 400 banking executives, Temenos said more than 53 per cent of respondents cited e-financial services like PayPal, Alipay, WeChat Pay and Apple Pay as their biggest non-traditional competition in the next two years.

European Union

Crowdfunding in Switzerland at Record High: CHF 375 Million (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

The Swiss crowdfunding market has reached a record high volume of CHF 374.5 million in 2017, almost three times more than in the previous year. This has been revealed by the latest Crowdfunding Monitoring report issued by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. The financing of SMEs and investments in real estate are key drivers of the strong growth. The authors of the report are expecting a further marked increase to about CHF 1 billion this year. Compared to the more advanced markets in the United Kingdom and the United StatesSwitzerland is two to three years behind, but catching up rapidly.

Hungary ready to join the global blockchain market (Budapest Business Journal) Rated: B

Europe is starting to take blockchain-based solutions seriously, and Hungarian players seem ready to be part of the game. The largest international blockchain summit in the CEE region, Blockchaineum 2.0, gathered major stakeholders in Budapest to discuss the hottest issues on the global agenda.

Peer-to-peer lending is considered another blockchain target area. Ray Youssef, CEO of Paxful gave the example of Nigeria, the biggest economy in Africa, where high inflation and foreign currency restrictions push many people towards finding shelter in cryptocurrencies.

International

Mobile ventures to take on payments (Daily Sabah) Rated: A

Square, one of the most popular payment solutions Visa invested on, allows street vendors the opportunity to accept credit cards. It brings the convenience of payment for consumers, who can shop safely anywhere in the world.

Klarna is another venture that has received Visa investments. It is one of Europe’s leading payment providers, aiming to make the payment process simple, smooth and secure for customers and trading partners. Klarna offers payment solutions for over 60 million users in Europe and North America.

Cryptocurrency Cap Waiting to be Unlocked by Lenders (The Merkle) Rated: A

Today, cryptocurrency has an estimated market cap of $300 to $800 billion USD. Asset-backed tokens have been expected to reach $5 trillion USD by 2025.

Now, Depository Network (DEPO) has made it even easier for digital asset owners to cash in on their holdings while offering peace of mind to lenders.

DEPO is developing the world’s first decentralized, multi-platform collateral network. The depository will be a secure place for borrowers to deposit their coins or tokens as a collateral for loans while offering lenders full control over the details of the loan agreement.

Australia

Mortgage marketplace receives $ 700k loan (Australian Broker) Rated: AAA

An online home loan marketplace has received a $700,000 loan from Jobs for NSW, which is set to help the business create 46 jobs over the next five years.

HashChing reports it now has over $900million settled through their platform from more than 1,950 loans. It also says it has 586 mortgage brokers on the platform and is growing at 700% year-on-year.

India

Only 4% Indians get easy personal loans from banks and NBFCs (Sify Finance) Rated: AAA

27 public sector banks, 93 commercial banks, over 10,000 non banking financial and Gold companies and several micro-finance institutions, but ask any entrepreneur the ease of getting a loan. A mixed response is most likely, with majority opting for diplomatic correctness over factual accuracy.

Getting a loan is certainly a monumental feat in this era of digitisation. And this is the exact demand that peer-to-peer companies such as LenDen, i2i Funding, Faircent, Lendbox are keen to fulfill.

i2i Funding is India’s second largest p2p lending platform, with a size of 50,000 customers. The company aspires to cross Rs 2 crores in monthly disbursal by October 2018.

How do Investors Invest in Startups – From a Venture Capitalist’s Point of View (Entrepreneur India) Rated: A

In this regard, to decode what goes on in the minds of leading venture capitalists, Entrepreneur India interacted with Bhaskar Majumdar who is Managing Partner at Mumbai-based Unicorn India Ventures. At this point in time, Unicorn India has dedicated equity funds worth INR 100 crores under deployment, while another INR 600 crores worth debt fund has been launched.

He also states that with aspects such as credit scoring, data collection, and even lending to MSMEs having now received the digital touch, Fintech is exciting considering the fact that startups in the sector could effectively collaborate with banks to bring more people into the formal banking system.

Xiaomi Launches Mi Credit, A Lending Marketplace Exclusively for MIUI Users (BW Disrupt) Rated: B

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced Mi Credit which aims to deliver instant loans exclusively to MIUI users.

Mi Credit provides a hassle-free approach to avail loans instantly.

MIUI users can apply for a loan anytime and from anywhere. The company is offering loans starting from Rs 1,000 up to Rs 1 Lakh.

According to a report published by ET, the loan will be extended at 3% interest per month and focuses on salaried professionals.

Africa

Kenya moves to regulate fintech-fuelled lending craze (Reuters) Rated: AAA

Kenya built a reputation as a pioneer of financial inclusion through its early adoption of a mobile money system that enables people to transfer cash and make payments on cellphones without a bank account.

Now, a proliferation of lenders are using the same technology to extend credit to the banked and unbanked alike, saddling borrowers with high interest rates and leaving regulators scrambling to keep up.

This week, the finance ministry published a draft bill on financial regulation which covers digital lenders for the first time. A key aim is to ensure that providers treat retail customers fairly, it said.

Eurasia

Russia Has Significant Opportunity to Advance Financial Tech Services – Analyst (Sputnik International) Rated: AAA

Bob Contri: I think that in financial services, which is where I work, digital is very important. I would say for our clients globally it’s probably the most important topic right now. I think it’s very important from a client perspective so how do they provide financial services to their clients in a very efficient way. And I think it’s also very important how they manage their business so how can they use their technologies to create more efficiency in the middle and back office. So it’s probably the biggest topic right now in our practice globally with working with our clients.

Sputnik: Do you think there’s big potential for new approaches in banking such as peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding?

Bob Contri: Sure, I think that the face of financial services is changing pretty dramatically. I think that obviously automated money transfers and cross-border payments will change dramatically. I think peer-to-peer lending has a big opportunity to grow significantly. So I think the whole face of financial services is changing pretty dramatically. That’s not to say that the market leaders of today won’t be the market leaders of the future.

MENA

RentSher — a firm with a hire purpose (Gulf News) Rated: AAA

Founders Vaibhav and Purvashi Doshi and Harsh Dhand originally conceived of RentSher as a peer-to-peer lending platform, the Airbnb of stuff.

But after they launched the firm in Bengaluru in 2015 (Dubai followed in 2016), they noticed a problem.

“We figured out that peer-to-peer alone is not scalable enough,” said Vaibhav, the firm’s CEO, in an interview at his and Purvashi’s Dubai villa.
That forced a rethink, and a move towards a business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) model, a centralised one-stop rental platform for companies already offering rental services to connect with a pool of customers through an easy-to-use interface.

Reaping the fruits of hard work (Khaleej Times) Rated: B

It was while discussing a common problem that Marie-Christine Luijckx and three friends came up with a successful business model. Luijckx and her friends were doing long working hours in their corporate jobs with very few healthy food choices resulting in loss of productivity at the workplace. They thus decided to establish Fruitful Day, a business that delivers curated selections of fresh fruit to workplaces and homes across the UAE in 2015.

Luijckx says all partners believe passionately in the business and they funded it with their personal savings. “Our only external funding to date has been through Beehive, which is a debt crowdfunding platform,” she says.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday May 23 2018 Daily News Digest

Interest rates & new delinquencies on CC debt

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi to get into crypto investing by 2019. How Goldman Sachs predicts economic slumps. How SoFi personalizes the mobile experience. A Monzo case study. Klarna acquires Shop.co. Today’s main analysis: More Americans are struggling to pay with credit cards. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 4 in 10 Americans can’t cover a $400 emergency expense, Fed survey […]

Interest rates & new delinquencies on CC debt

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

India

Other

News Summary

United States

SoFi will get crypto investing by 2019, says CEO Anthony Noto (CNBC) Rated: AAA

SoFi CEO Anthony Noto says the “modern finance” company wants members to be able to invest in cryptocurrency as soon as 2019.

“We want to accelerate our investment in some new products, one of which is our wealth products, and we want to add cryptocurrency to that,” Noto said on CNBC’s “Power Lunch.”

Goldman Sachs has a novel method for predicting the next economic slump  (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

You might remember that Goldman Sachs is lending to subprime borrowers. Turns out, it’s all part of a plan to help predict the next credit cycle.

In February, Goldman Sachs surprised Wall Street when it said that more than 80% of borrowers for its Marcus consumer-lending product had a FICO score of more than 660 at year end. The implication was that nearly 20% had a score of less than 660, placing them in a group often referred to as subprime.

In September, the bank said it saw a $1 billion revenue opportunity in the Marcus loan-and-deposit platform based on a $13 billion lending opportunity over three years. Whether it reaches that goal will depend in part on how those subprime borrowers behave.

More Americans are struggling to pay their credit cards (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

Interest rates, which influence the cost of borrowing, are on the rise after the Federal Reserve kept them near zero for years. That period of super-low interest rates achieved one key outcome: encouraging Americans to borrow, spend, and help grow the economy after the Great Recession.

Last June, credit-card debt finally hit a new high. But the share of borrowers who make payments more than 30 days late is rising along with interest rates.

Source: Business Insider

The Fed is set next month to raise its benchmark rate for the seventh time since late 2015.

Source: Business Insider

How SoFi is personalizing its mobile experience (Tearsheet) Rated: AAA

SoFi is personalizing its digital customer experience by fusing event planning, career services and personal finance insights inside its mobile app.

SoFi is joining a group of financial institutions that are letting customers aggregate accounts to get a full financial picture — even if they’re not with the same institution, with recent examples including Citi and HSBC.

As it grows its digital offerings, the company is adding services to meet the needs of a fast-growing customer cohort. SoFi currently has 500,000 customers — up 200,000 from last year.

 

 

 

50. SoFi (CNBC) Rated: A

This has been quite a year for SoFi (short for Social Finance).

The company claims to have 500,000 members and has made $25 billion in loans to date. SoFi has raised $2.1 billion in funding, including $500 million in a round led by Silver Lake Partners. In early interviews after taking over the top spot, Noto spoke about eventually taking SoFi public, but did not outline a timetable.

For millennials, it’s about having a house, children and retiring early (CNBC) Rated: A

Julia Boorstin live with SoFi CEO Anthony Noto discusses running what he describes as a “modern day” financial services company.

Watch the interview here

SoFi Makes Graduation From Student Debt An Epic Experience (PR Newswire) Rated: A

In a video released today on YouTube, SoFi made that moment of relief from student debt a grand occasion for one Midwestern woman. The company surprised Candice, a SoFi member who had refinanced her student debt, with an epic surprise “debt graduation” ceremony with friends, family, and some unconventional surprises planned by the company, together with production and entertainment studio GenPop.

Guaranteed Rate Partners with DocMagic to Cut Closing Time (Florida Newswire) Rated: A

DocMagic, Inc., the premier provider of fully-compliant loan document preparation, regulatory compliance and comprehensive eMortgage services, announced that retail mortgage lender Guaranteed Rate can now cut closing time by electronically signing mortgage closing documents in advance.

Guaranteed Rate has branded the solution FlashClose, which allows customers to opt-in, review and complete most documents in advance of the notary arriving, saving an hour or more at the closing table – with some averaging a mere 10-minute appointment to provide inked signatures.

First wave of neobanks resets for new offensive (American Banker) Rated: A

BankSimple (now just called Simple) was bought by BBVA and went through a painful process of migrating accounts to the big bank’s systems; its founder recently announced he’s leaving. Moven became a seller of software to large banks including TD Bank and Westpac, while still maintaining its own mobile banking service. Varo Money has been trying for almost a year to get a banking license. Chime remained independent (in partnership with The Bancorp Bank) but is going through growing pains.

This year, all are taking up their swords again, renewing an anti-bank message of helping consumers lead financially healthy lives, with fewer fees and more helpful products and software than traditional banks. Following is a look at how the neobanks are fighting back.

Cadre seeks at least $ 100M from SoftBank (The Real Deal) Rated: A

Real estate crowdfunding platform Cadre is seeking at least $100 million from a fund started by the SoftBank Group.

Representatives for the SoftBank Vision Fund met with a top executive from Cadre recently, Bloomberg reported. The fund gets nearly half of its $100 billion from the Saudi Arabian government and at least $15 billion from the United Arab Emirates.

Lending Express garners $ 2.7 mln (PE Hub Network) Rated: A

Lending Express, the only AI-powered marketplace for business loans, today announced the securing of a $2.7 million investment round led by Entrée Capital, iAngels, and existing investors. The funds will be used to build out their innovative loan-matching technology and scale up operations in the United States and Australia.

How fintech gave this SBA lender an edge (American Banker) Rated: A

Add Seacoast Banking in Stuart, Fla., to the list of community banks that now believe in working with fintechs.

The $6 billion-asset company is gaining traction in Small Business Administration lending after partnering with SmartBiz Loans to speed its approval process. The move halved the interval from application to funding, to as little as 10 days, said Julie Kleffel, Seacoast’s community banking executive.

Four in 10 can’t cover an emergency expense of $ 400, Fed survey finds (Market Watch) Rated: AAA

The Fed’s new survey of household economics and decision-making found 41% could not cover a $400 emergency expense using cash in 2017. That’s actually a slight improvement, since 44% could not in 2016, 46% could not in 2015 and only 50% could in 2013.

Those that couldn’t afford the expense turn to credit cards or borrowing from family or friends, while only 5% would turn to a payday loan or similar product.

Source: Federal Reserve

Read the full report here.

Why real estate tech won’t kill the middleman (The Real Deal) Rated: A

Not too long ago, it seemed like the real estate business was about to enter a new era. To some observers, websites like Zillow and Trulia or their office equivalents 42Floors and LoopNet threatened to put brokers out of business (although officially these firms said no such thing). Crowdfunding startups dreamed of doing the same to pricey fund managers. Why pay a cut to an agent if you can just find your house or office online, for free? Why give your savings to a pension fund, which gives it to an asset manager, which gives it to a real estate lender, which gives it to a developer, if you can just lend the money to a developer yourself, online, and save a fortune in fees?

ENACOMM Adds FoneLogix as Ally to Bring Data-Driven AI and Phone Banking to Financial Institutions (Globe Newswire) Rated: B

ENACOMM—a fintech company that empowers banks, credit unions and credit card companies with solutions for improving the customer experience (CX), fighting financial fraud, and increasing operational efficiency—today announced a new reseller agreement with FoneLogix, an Atlanta-based provider of cloud-hosted VOIP Phone Systems, Solutions and Support.

Through the partnership, FoneLogix’s bank and credit union customers will be able to take advantage of ENACOMM’s VPA (Virtual Personal Assistant) Conversational Banking and the ENACOMM Financial Suite (EFS), which includes a hosted, dynamic interactive voice response (IVR) system for personalized customer interactions.

AI Challenging Bank Lending Practices (Forbes) Rated: A

CultureBanx notes 

The Best Business Loans and Financing Options for Freelancers (The Entrepreneur) Rated: A

Most banks view freelancers as high-risk, and as such, may be unwilling to enter a loan agreement. Because a freelancer is considered a sole proprietor, he or she alone is liable for all losses and debts his or her business may incur. If the freelancer gets hurt or sick and cannot work — or is just terrible at running a business — the bank is left holding the bag.

Online lenders offer an interesting alternative. Typically, these non-traditional lenders have more relaxed loan approval criteria and a swifter approval process. Importantly, your personal income, assets and credit score are assessed for loan approval, not the value of your business. You should expect to pay higher rates of interest, a natural trade-off for the perceived risk you present.

First Tech Federal Credit Union Personal Loans: 2018 Review (Nerdwallet) Rated: A

First Tech offers unsecured and secured personal loans as well as personal lines of credit. Annual percentage rates start at 9% on unsecured loans, or 3% on secured loans, which can be backed by a First Tech savings account, First Tech share certificates, or stock you own in the company you work for or one listed on the NYSE, Nasdaq or Amex.

You can apply for a loan of as little as $500, making First Tech a good option for borrowers looking for small loans. Payments for unsecured and secured loans are fixed over two to seven years, and you can choose between monthly or biweekly payments.

 

 

Trump signs resolution overturning CFPB auto lending rule (Consumer Affairs) Rated: B

President Trump has signed a resolution, passed by Congress, overturning the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) auto lending rule, designed to prevent racial discrimination by dealers who finance purchases.

United Kingdom

Monzo Case Study (AWS) Rated: AAA

Monzo has grown from an idea to a fully regulated bank on the AWS Cloud. A bank that “lives on your smartphone,” Monzo has already handled £1 billion worth of transactions for half a million customers in the UK. Monzo runs more than 400 core-banking microservices on AWS, using services including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

Open banking regulations, which came in at the start of 2018, required the nine largest banks in the UK to provide an API for their users’ account information.

 

Meet the 35 most exciting young entrepreneurs, engineers, and advisors in UK fintech (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

Business Insider has covered UK fintech since our 2014 launch. The UK Fintech 35 under 35 highlights the most promising young entrepreneurs, engineers, marketers, and sector experts under the age of 35. It spans both startups and big banks operating in the sector.

35. Pierce Glennie, iwoca

The company has lent over £400 million since its founding in 2011. Glennie was one of iwoca’s first outside hires and just 21 when he joined the business.

27. Aneesh Varma, Aire

Varma, who started his career at JPMorgan, set up Aire in 2014. It is his second startup, having previously founded enterprise software business FabriQate in 2005.

24. Anil Stocker, MarketInvoice

MarketInvoice is an online platform that lets businesses borrow against unpaid invoices. The lender isn’t MarketInvoice itself but institutional investors and high net worth individuals looking for strong returns.

23. Karen Kerrigan, Seedrs

Seedrs is one of the UK’s first equity crowdfunding platforms, letting ordinary people invest in startup businesses. 600 businesses have raised over £320 million since the platform launched in 2009.

17. Simon Miller, Scalable Capital

Scalable Capital is one of a number of so-called “robo advisors” — online investment advisors and platforms — that have sprung up around the world in recent years. The company already has £600 million in assets under management and has attracted investment from asset management giant BlackRock.

13. Joe Cross, TransferWise

Cross was one of TransferWise’s first employees and has seen the international money transfer business grow from a small East London startup to business worth over $1 billion.

6. Megan Caywood, Starling Bank

She is now chief platform officer at startup, app-only bank Starling, which is trying to make a new kind of bank that functions more like an app store than a traditional lender.

5. Martin Ijaha, Neyber

Neyber works with employers to let staff borrow money then repay through salary deductions. Neyber was founded in 2012 and now works with 160 employers with a combined 1 million staff. Last year Goldman invested £100 million into the platform.

3. Tom Blomfield, Monzo

The fully licensed bank now has over 500,000 current account customers who have spent £1 billion on Monzo’s iconic hot coral cards. The company has raised over £71 million to date and is valued at £280 million.

2. Samir Desai, Funding Circle

Their platform has now lent over £4 billion to businesses across the UK, Germany, US, and the Netherlands. Desai was awarded a CBE for services to financial services in 2015 and his company is tipped to float on the stock exchange later this year with a price tag of at least £1 billion.

1. Nikolay Storonsky, Revolut

Revolut began life as a foreign exchange card linked to an app that offered rock-bottom FX prices. The company is less than three years old but the popularity of its product has already seen it hit 2 million customers and a valuation of $1.7 billion.

Proptech Startup When You Move Raises £3M in Funding (Finsmes) Rated: A

When You Move, a UK-based proptech startup, secured new funding which brings the total amount raised to £3m.

Backers included Fig, a proptech VC, and a hybrid network of friends and family, private HNW investors and incumbent shareholders.

The company intends to use the funds to build out it customer excellence teams, scale up the development team and solidify its position as the solution for professionals involved in property purchases.

The UK fintech economy will create different pockets of excellence all over the country (Computer Weekly) Rated: A

He said fintechs such as Leeds based White label Crowdfunding which build peer to peer lending software, business lender Rebuildingsociety.com also in Leeds, and Accespay in Manchester have been involved with the Fintech North events.

Mark Carney: Every household £900 worse off because of Brexit (The Telegraph) Rated: A

UK households are £900 worse off than they would have been because of Brexit, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has claimed.

Mr Carney revealed in a Treasury Select Committee grilling that growth has been up to 2pc lower than the central bank had expected because of the UK’s decision.

Banks ‘charging more’ for overdrafts than payday lenders (BBC) Rated: A

Unarranged overdraft fees can cost borrowers up to seven times more than a payday loan, a consumer group warned.

Which? compared the cost of borrowing £100 for 30 days in an unarranged overdraft across 16 high street banks with borrowing the same amount through a payday loan.

Ireland Issues Tax Guidance On Peer-To-Peer Lending (Tax News) Rated: B

A company that pays interest on finance raised via peer-to-peer lending or crowdfunding is obligated to withhold income tax at the standard rate of tax on interest payments made on the finance raised. The underlying lenders are liable to pay income tax on any interest they earn on which withholding tax has not been suffered.

‘Lenders need to be more transparent about portfolios’ (Bridging & Commercial) Rated: A

Far from deserting the sector, lenders are now presenting landlords with a wider range of borrowing options than ever before. New figures from financial information site Moneyfacts suggests that there are currently more than 2,000 buy-to-let mortgage deals available, a new record high.

And while the various regulatory and tax changes have spelt trouble for the small-time landlords, the professionals seem to be in the ascendency. A recent study by Aldermore suggested that more than four out of 10 portfolio landlords are looking to expand their portfolios in the next 12 months.

China

Chinese fintech’s global future is arriving now (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

Ant Financial recently raised an oversubscribed $10bn round which values the firm higher than Goldman Sachs, American Express and BlackRock; the Alipay product has more than 500 million users and is incredibly simple to use; they have integrated into Alibaba’s retail operation and have the world’s largest money market fund with Yu’E Bao; they have begun expanding globally as well as they have built partnerships with firms in Africa and have tried to enter the U.S. market through an acquisition of MoneyGram which was blocked by regulators; regulators will need to figure out how handle a company that doesn’t look to fade from the financial scene anytime soon.

Legal concerns heat up for wanted Founders Group leader as partner testifies in China (Myrtle Beach Sun News) Rated: A

Liu’s partner in the Chinese company Yiqian Funding, a peer-to-peer lending business that seeks investors, testified May 3 in her fraud trial in Nanjing that Liu was in control of the company when it became unable to pay many investors what prosecutors estimate to be $1.17 billion — or 7.4 billion yuan.

 

European Union

Klarna acquires universal shopping cart Shop.co (Ecommerce News) Rated: AAA

Klarna has acquired Shop.co, a small German startup that wants to simplify online shopping by offering a universal shopping cart. There’s little known about the deal, but according to Klarna it’s mostly about the acquisition of intellectual property and taking over a mere Shop.co employees..

According to t3n, a purchase sum somewhere in the mid double-digit millions is also likely. But later on, Klarna told another media outlet, Tech.eu, that the purchase price is far lower than some media have been speculating. It also said that it’s most acquiring intellectual property and employees.

Keeping on Top of Emerging Payment Solutions – Q&A with Klarna (Retail Tech News) Rated: A

Luke Griffiths: Klarna’s approach to online commerce is very different from that of traditional providers. Our overarching philosophy is to give consumers the freedom and flexibility to decide how and when they want to pay. At Klarna, we offer three payment options that cover all consumer needs for seamless shopping: ‘Pay now’, ‘Pay later’, and ‘Slice it’.

Pay now enables straightforward and immediate online payment purchases. This option allows customers to pay for their purchases in full via Klarna’s speedy online checkout and payment service using a card. Many of our merchants choose the Klarna checkout as it is proven to reduce abandoned baskets and provide a better user experience for shoppers.

Our second payment option, Pay later, allows shoppers to ‘try before they buy’. Customers have either 14 or 30 days to pay for their goods (depending on the merchant) after their items have been delivered, with no interest or fees – or they can return the items if they’re not what they expected.

EMaC launches ‘Drive Now Pay Later’ service for dealers (Motor Trader) Rated: B

EMaC, the service plan specialist, is widening the services it offers dealers and end consumers with the launch of a pay later credit facility for vehicle repairs and accessories.

The company, which is has also launched a new identity, has teamed up with credit provider Klarna to offer the “Drive Now Pay Later” service.

EMaC said its new Drive Now, Pay Later product would give dealers access to a credit facility to assist their customers in financing repairs and other vehicle related accessories.

Banks seek tech talent for digital shift (Financial Times) Rated: A

European Banks have increased advertising for IT and engineering roles by more than 10 times in the last 3 years; a new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit and Temenos shows for the first time that bank executives believe technology like AI and blockchain will have a bigger impact than regulation; being about 10 years removed from the financial crisis has help shift the view of banks to focus more of their time on digitization instead of regulatory compliance.

 

 

International

Meet the Goldman Sachs-Backed Fintech Startup Aiming to Take Over North America (Fortune) Rated: AAA

Now Plaid, which raised $44 million in a funding round led by Goldman SachsInvestment Partners nearly two years ago, is looking to expand internationally. The company announced Tuesday that Plaid is available in Canada for the first time—and compatible with both U.S. and Canadian dollars—a move designed to both support current clients’ Canadian expansions as well as attract new Canadian fintech players.

Companies use Plaid’s APIs (or application programming interfaces) as a foundation for building their own fintech products, depending on that secure way to link customers’ bank accounts. Its extension into Canada is a sign that the nascent fintech industry is gaining traction in more parts of the world. TransferWise, a London-based cross-border payments startup that uses Plaid, recently expanded into Canada as part of a global push. And Toronto-based Drop, a loyalty rewards app, is one of Plaid’s first Canadian clients.

Is Fraud a Solved Problem? (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

But one statement stood out to me. Jeff Stewart, the Chairman and Co-Founder of LenddoEFL said that “fraud is a solved problem”.

That is quite a bold statement. So, I reached out to Jeff yesterday to get some more color on what he really means here. He stood by what he said on the panel at LendIt. While we can’t get rid of 100% of fraud what we can do is catch fake identities, fraud rings, and large-scale theft of identity.

It is not surprising that the type and amount of fraud varies between countries. We learned from Thomas Wang of China Rapid Finance in this same session that a staggering 97% of loan applications in China are fraudulent. Think about that for a moment. Only 3% of the applications that a Chinese online lender receives is from a real person. The rest is fraudulent activity often from established fraud rings.

Small Business Banking Catching Up in Innovation Race (Bank Innovation) Rated: A

There are quite a few lending solutions these days for small businesses — Funding Circle, OnDeck, Kabbage, and Square Capital, to name a just a few — but innovation and digitization are lagging in other areas, such as digital account opening. Enter Gro Solutions, a sales and marketing platform for financial institutions.

Australia

Understanding the SME mindset (Australian Broker) Rated: A

More than one in five SMEs – a total of 22% – opted for non-bank alternatives to funding their growth. A further 24% looked to borrow from their main relationship bank, and this bank lending percentage has trended down from 38% in our initial 2014 Index.

The most popular funding choices for SMEs using alternative working capital options in 2017 were debtor finance, which was used by 77%; merchant cash advances, used by 23%; P2P lending, with a total share of 10%; and crowdfunding, utilised by 9%.

India

Payday loan firm EarlySalary acquires CashCare (Media Nama) Rated: AAA

Payday loan firm EarlySalary has acquired CashCare. CashCare sells loans to customers on websites like Infibeam and Shopclues, and accepts repayments in EMIs at annual interest rates ranging between fifteen and 25%, according to CashCare’s website. The service is offered to people who don’t have a credit card too.

While CashCare’s 15% annualized interest rate is not too different from what credit card companies charge, EarlySalary’s payday loans come at a steeper cost. Charging ₹9 for each dayper ₹10,000 borrowed, their interest rate comes out to over 30%, compared to the 1.5–3% annualized interest credit cards charge, as we’ve pointed out before.

Xiaomi to start lending operations in India; to target salaried professionals (The Economic Times) Rated: AAA

IPO-bound Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi has launched its first lending product in India on the lines of the microlending product Mi Credit that it offers in China.

The new credit product, launched in partnership with lending platform KrazyBee, has already gone live and will be officially announced in a few weeks, as per a person aware of the development.

Called CreditBee, the credit product is a payday loan starting from Rs 1,000 up to Rs 1 lakh for a period of 90 days, as per the person cited above. The credit will be offered at an interest rate of 3% per month and will be targeted at salaried professionals, the person said.

P2P lending startup Cashkumar secures angel investment (VC Circle) Rated: A

Cashkumar, a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending startup, has raised angel investment of Rs 5 crore (around $735,000) through deals platform LetsVenture.

The startup’s first external funding was led by Mohan Kumar, executive director at global investment firm Norwest Venture Partners, and telecom company Reliance Jio’s chief digital officer Vishal Sampat.

Capacity-building workshop by RBI (Tribune India) Rated: B

Rachna Dikshit, Regional Director, RBI, Chandigarh inaugurated the workshop. In the event, topics like RBI guidelines, credit guarantee architecture for MSME financing and recovery management, alternative tech driven approaches to financing MSMEs like big data, fintechs, P2P lending, TReDS, movable asset based financing, role of CERSAI, management of sick account, credit scoring and rating models for MSMEs, assessment of term loans and composite loans, effective communication were covered.

 

Asia

Fintech Firm Flywire Teams Up With SP Jain For New Student-Led Singapore-Based Startups Competition (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Flywire, a fintech firm that provides global payment and receivable solutions for education, healthcare, and commercial enterprises, announced this week it has partnered with SP Jain School of Global Management to launch a startup competition, the Flywire Challenge, to power a new generation of transformative entrepreneurship in Singapore and the APAC region.

According to the duo, this competition, which is set to launch this month, solidifies Flywire’s dedication to partnering with powerful regional universities, government bodies and industry, and investing in education and the start-up space, as well as their long-term relationships with international educational and healthcare institutions as a leading payments solutions provider. Flywire will host, sponsor and evaluate a contest following an open call for teams to submit proposals for innovative start-up ideas. Any and all students and graduates, not limited to SP Jain students, will be invited to compete for three awards in the Health Technology, Education Technology and Travel Technology sectors.

Latin America

Mexican investors back microlending startup Vola (VC Circle) Rated: AAA

Bengaluru and US-based Vola, which offers an alternative lending platform for students, has raised $500,000 (Rs 3.4 crore) in a pre-Series A funding round from Mexican insurance and credit firm Credika and unnamed angel investors from the North American nation.

MENA

AI Business Loan Company Lending Express Raises $ 2.7 Million (CTech) Rated: AAA

Israeli business loan startup Lending Express announced on Tuesday it has raised $2.7 million in a seed investment round led by Entrée Capital and iAngels, among other investors.

The company said it would use the capital to further develop its loan-matching technology and scale up its operations in the U.S. and Australia.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday May 23 2018 Daily News Digest

Interest rates & new delinquencies on CC debt

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi to get into crypto investing by 2019. How Goldman Sachs predicts economic slumps. How SoFi personalizes the mobile experience. A Monzo case study. Klarna acquires Shop.co. Today’s main analysis: More Americans are struggling to pay with credit cards. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 4 in 10 Americans can’t cover a $400 emergency expense, Fed survey […]

Interest rates & new delinquencies on CC debt

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

India

Other

News Summary

United States

SoFi will get crypto investing by 2019, says CEO Anthony Noto (CNBC) Rated: AAA

SoFi CEO Anthony Noto says the “modern finance” company wants members to be able to invest in cryptocurrency as soon as 2019.

“We want to accelerate our investment in some new products, one of which is our wealth products, and we want to add cryptocurrency to that,” Noto said on CNBC’s “Power Lunch.”

Goldman Sachs has a novel method for predicting the next economic slump  (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

You might remember that Goldman Sachs is lending to subprime borrowers. Turns out, it’s all part of a plan to help predict the next credit cycle.

In February, Goldman Sachs surprised Wall Street when it said that more than 80% of borrowers for its Marcus consumer-lending product had a FICO score of more than 660 at year end. The implication was that nearly 20% had a score of less than 660, placing them in a group often referred to as subprime.

In September, the bank said it saw a $1 billion revenue opportunity in the Marcus loan-and-deposit platform based on a $13 billion lending opportunity over three years. Whether it reaches that goal will depend in part on how those subprime borrowers behave.

More Americans are struggling to pay their credit cards (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

Interest rates, which influence the cost of borrowing, are on the rise after the Federal Reserve kept them near zero for years. That period of super-low interest rates achieved one key outcome: encouraging Americans to borrow, spend, and help grow the economy after the Great Recession.

Last June, credit-card debt finally hit a new high. But the share of borrowers who make payments more than 30 days late is rising along with interest rates.

Source: Business Insider

The Fed is set next month to raise its benchmark rate for the seventh time since late 2015.

Source: Business Insider

How SoFi is personalizing its mobile experience (Tearsheet) Rated: AAA

SoFi is personalizing its digital customer experience by fusing event planning, career services and personal finance insights inside its mobile app.

SoFi is joining a group of financial institutions that are letting customers aggregate accounts to get a full financial picture — even if they’re not with the same institution, with recent examples including Citi and HSBC.

As it grows its digital offerings, the company is adding services to meet the needs of a fast-growing customer cohort. SoFi currently has 500,000 customers — up 200,000 from last year.

 

 

 

50. SoFi (CNBC) Rated: A

This has been quite a year for SoFi (short for Social Finance).

The company claims to have 500,000 members and has made $25 billion in loans to date. SoFi has raised $2.1 billion in funding, including $500 million in a round led by Silver Lake Partners. In early interviews after taking over the top spot, Noto spoke about eventually taking SoFi public, but did not outline a timetable.

For millennials, it’s about having a house, children and retiring early (CNBC) Rated: A

Julia Boorstin live with SoFi CEO Anthony Noto discusses running what he describes as a “modern day” financial services company.

Watch the interview here

SoFi Makes Graduation From Student Debt An Epic Experience (PR Newswire) Rated: A

In a video released today on YouTube, SoFi made that moment of relief from student debt a grand occasion for one Midwestern woman. The company surprised Candice, a SoFi member who had refinanced her student debt, with an epic surprise “debt graduation” ceremony with friends, family, and some unconventional surprises planned by the company, together with production and entertainment studio GenPop.

Guaranteed Rate Partners with DocMagic to Cut Closing Time (Florida Newswire) Rated: A

DocMagic, Inc., the premier provider of fully-compliant loan document preparation, regulatory compliance and comprehensive eMortgage services, announced that retail mortgage lender Guaranteed Rate can now cut closing time by electronically signing mortgage closing documents in advance.

Guaranteed Rate has branded the solution FlashClose, which allows customers to opt-in, review and complete most documents in advance of the notary arriving, saving an hour or more at the closing table – with some averaging a mere 10-minute appointment to provide inked signatures.

First wave of neobanks resets for new offensive (American Banker) Rated: A

BankSimple (now just called Simple) was bought by BBVA and went through a painful process of migrating accounts to the big bank’s systems; its founder recently announced he’s leaving. Moven became a seller of software to large banks including TD Bank and Westpac, while still maintaining its own mobile banking service. Varo Money has been trying for almost a year to get a banking license. Chime remained independent (in partnership with The Bancorp Bank) but is going through growing pains.

This year, all are taking up their swords again, renewing an anti-bank message of helping consumers lead financially healthy lives, with fewer fees and more helpful products and software than traditional banks. Following is a look at how the neobanks are fighting back.

Cadre seeks at least $ 100M from SoftBank (The Real Deal) Rated: A

Real estate crowdfunding platform Cadre is seeking at least $100 million from a fund started by the SoftBank Group.

Representatives for the SoftBank Vision Fund met with a top executive from Cadre recently, Bloomberg reported. The fund gets nearly half of its $100 billion from the Saudi Arabian government and at least $15 billion from the United Arab Emirates.

Lending Express garners $ 2.7 mln (PE Hub Network) Rated: A

Lending Express, the only AI-powered marketplace for business loans, today announced the securing of a $2.7 million investment round led by Entrée Capital, iAngels, and existing investors. The funds will be used to build out their innovative loan-matching technology and scale up operations in the United States and Australia.

How fintech gave this SBA lender an edge (American Banker) Rated: A

Add Seacoast Banking in Stuart, Fla., to the list of community banks that now believe in working with fintechs.

The $6 billion-asset company is gaining traction in Small Business Administration lending after partnering with SmartBiz Loans to speed its approval process. The move halved the interval from application to funding, to as little as 10 days, said Julie Kleffel, Seacoast’s community banking executive.

Four in 10 can’t cover an emergency expense of $ 400, Fed survey finds (Market Watch) Rated: AAA

The Fed’s new survey of household economics and decision-making found 41% could not cover a $400 emergency expense using cash in 2017. That’s actually a slight improvement, since 44% could not in 2016, 46% could not in 2015 and only 50% could in 2013.

Those that couldn’t afford the expense turn to credit cards or borrowing from family or friends, while only 5% would turn to a payday loan or similar product.

Source: Federal Reserve

Read the full report here.

Why real estate tech won’t kill the middleman (The Real Deal) Rated: A

Not too long ago, it seemed like the real estate business was about to enter a new era. To some observers, websites like Zillow and Trulia or their office equivalents 42Floors and LoopNet threatened to put brokers out of business (although officially these firms said no such thing). Crowdfunding startups dreamed of doing the same to pricey fund managers. Why pay a cut to an agent if you can just find your house or office online, for free? Why give your savings to a pension fund, which gives it to an asset manager, which gives it to a real estate lender, which gives it to a developer, if you can just lend the money to a developer yourself, online, and save a fortune in fees?

ENACOMM Adds FoneLogix as Ally to Bring Data-Driven AI and Phone Banking to Financial Institutions (Globe Newswire) Rated: B

ENACOMM—a fintech company that empowers banks, credit unions and credit card companies with solutions for improving the customer experience (CX), fighting financial fraud, and increasing operational efficiency—today announced a new reseller agreement with FoneLogix, an Atlanta-based provider of cloud-hosted VOIP Phone Systems, Solutions and Support.

Through the partnership, FoneLogix’s bank and credit union customers will be able to take advantage of ENACOMM’s VPA (Virtual Personal Assistant) Conversational Banking and the ENACOMM Financial Suite (EFS), which includes a hosted, dynamic interactive voice response (IVR) system for personalized customer interactions.

AI Challenging Bank Lending Practices (Forbes) Rated: A

CultureBanx notes 

The Best Business Loans and Financing Options for Freelancers (The Entrepreneur) Rated: A

Most banks view freelancers as high-risk, and as such, may be unwilling to enter a loan agreement. Because a freelancer is considered a sole proprietor, he or she alone is liable for all losses and debts his or her business may incur. If the freelancer gets hurt or sick and cannot work — or is just terrible at running a business — the bank is left holding the bag.

Online lenders offer an interesting alternative. Typically, these non-traditional lenders have more relaxed loan approval criteria and a swifter approval process. Importantly, your personal income, assets and credit score are assessed for loan approval, not the value of your business. You should expect to pay higher rates of interest, a natural trade-off for the perceived risk you present.

First Tech Federal Credit Union Personal Loans: 2018 Review (Nerdwallet) Rated: A

First Tech offers unsecured and secured personal loans as well as personal lines of credit. Annual percentage rates start at 9% on unsecured loans, or 3% on secured loans, which can be backed by a First Tech savings account, First Tech share certificates, or stock you own in the company you work for or one listed on the NYSE, Nasdaq or Amex.

You can apply for a loan of as little as $500, making First Tech a good option for borrowers looking for small loans. Payments for unsecured and secured loans are fixed over two to seven years, and you can choose between monthly or biweekly payments.

 

 

Trump signs resolution overturning CFPB auto lending rule (Consumer Affairs) Rated: B

President Trump has signed a resolution, passed by Congress, overturning the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) auto lending rule, designed to prevent racial discrimination by dealers who finance purchases.

United Kingdom

Monzo Case Study (AWS) Rated: AAA

Monzo has grown from an idea to a fully regulated bank on the AWS Cloud. A bank that “lives on your smartphone,” Monzo has already handled £1 billion worth of transactions for half a million customers in the UK. Monzo runs more than 400 core-banking microservices on AWS, using services including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

Open banking regulations, which came in at the start of 2018, required the nine largest banks in the UK to provide an API for their users’ account information.

 

Meet the 35 most exciting young entrepreneurs, engineers, and advisors in UK fintech (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

Business Insider has covered UK fintech since our 2014 launch. The UK Fintech 35 under 35 highlights the most promising young entrepreneurs, engineers, marketers, and sector experts under the age of 35. It spans both startups and big banks operating in the sector.

35. Pierce Glennie, iwoca

The company has lent over £400 million since its founding in 2011. Glennie was one of iwoca’s first outside hires and just 21 when he joined the business.

27. Aneesh Varma, Aire

Varma, who started his career at JPMorgan, set up Aire in 2014. It is his second startup, having previously founded enterprise software business FabriQate in 2005.

24. Anil Stocker, MarketInvoice

MarketInvoice is an online platform that lets businesses borrow against unpaid invoices. The lender isn’t MarketInvoice itself but institutional investors and high net worth individuals looking for strong returns.

23. Karen Kerrigan, Seedrs

Seedrs is one of the UK’s first equity crowdfunding platforms, letting ordinary people invest in startup businesses. 600 businesses have raised over £320 million since the platform launched in 2009.

17. Simon Miller, Scalable Capital

Scalable Capital is one of a number of so-called “robo advisors” — online investment advisors and platforms — that have sprung up around the world in recent years. The company already has £600 million in assets under management and has attracted investment from asset management giant BlackRock.

13. Joe Cross, TransferWise

Cross was one of TransferWise’s first employees and has seen the international money transfer business grow from a small East London startup to business worth over $1 billion.

6. Megan Caywood, Starling Bank

She is now chief platform officer at startup, app-only bank Starling, which is trying to make a new kind of bank that functions more like an app store than a traditional lender.

5. Martin Ijaha, Neyber

Neyber works with employers to let staff borrow money then repay through salary deductions. Neyber was founded in 2012 and now works with 160 employers with a combined 1 million staff. Last year Goldman invested £100 million into the platform.

3. Tom Blomfield, Monzo

The fully licensed bank now has over 500,000 current account customers who have spent £1 billion on Monzo’s iconic hot coral cards. The company has raised over £71 million to date and is valued at £280 million.

2. Samir Desai, Funding Circle

Their platform has now lent over £4 billion to businesses across the UK, Germany, US, and the Netherlands. Desai was awarded a CBE for services to financial services in 2015 and his company is tipped to float on the stock exchange later this year with a price tag of at least £1 billion.

1. Nikolay Storonsky, Revolut

Revolut began life as a foreign exchange card linked to an app that offered rock-bottom FX prices. The company is less than three years old but the popularity of its product has already seen it hit 2 million customers and a valuation of $1.7 billion.

Proptech Startup When You Move Raises £3M in Funding (Finsmes) Rated: A

When You Move, a UK-based proptech startup, secured new funding which brings the total amount raised to £3m.

Backers included Fig, a proptech VC, and a hybrid network of friends and family, private HNW investors and incumbent shareholders.

The company intends to use the funds to build out it customer excellence teams, scale up the development team and solidify its position as the solution for professionals involved in property purchases.

The UK fintech economy will create different pockets of excellence all over the country (Computer Weekly) Rated: A

He said fintechs such as Leeds based White label Crowdfunding which build peer to peer lending software, business lender Rebuildingsociety.com also in Leeds, and Accespay in Manchester have been involved with the Fintech North events.

Mark Carney: Every household £900 worse off because of Brexit (The Telegraph) Rated: A

UK households are £900 worse off than they would have been because of Brexit, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has claimed.

Mr Carney revealed in a Treasury Select Committee grilling that growth has been up to 2pc lower than the central bank had expected because of the UK’s decision.

Banks ‘charging more’ for overdrafts than payday lenders (BBC) Rated: A

Unarranged overdraft fees can cost borrowers up to seven times more than a payday loan, a consumer group warned.

Which? compared the cost of borrowing £100 for 30 days in an unarranged overdraft across 16 high street banks with borrowing the same amount through a payday loan.

Ireland Issues Tax Guidance On Peer-To-Peer Lending (Tax News) Rated: B

A company that pays interest on finance raised via peer-to-peer lending or crowdfunding is obligated to withhold income tax at the standard rate of tax on interest payments made on the finance raised. The underlying lenders are liable to pay income tax on any interest they earn on which withholding tax has not been suffered.

‘Lenders need to be more transparent about portfolios’ (Bridging & Commercial) Rated: A

Far from deserting the sector, lenders are now presenting landlords with a wider range of borrowing options than ever before. New figures from financial information site Moneyfacts suggests that there are currently more than 2,000 buy-to-let mortgage deals available, a new record high.

And while the various regulatory and tax changes have spelt trouble for the small-time landlords, the professionals seem to be in the ascendency. A recent study by Aldermore suggested that more than four out of 10 portfolio landlords are looking to expand their portfolios in the next 12 months.

China

Chinese fintech’s global future is arriving now (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

Ant Financial recently raised an oversubscribed $10bn round which values the firm higher than Goldman Sachs, American Express and BlackRock; the Alipay product has more than 500 million users and is incredibly simple to use; they have integrated into Alibaba’s retail operation and have the world’s largest money market fund with Yu’E Bao; they have begun expanding globally as well as they have built partnerships with firms in Africa and have tried to enter the U.S. market through an acquisition of MoneyGram which was blocked by regulators; regulators will need to figure out how handle a company that doesn’t look to fade from the financial scene anytime soon.

Legal concerns heat up for wanted Founders Group leader as partner testifies in China (Myrtle Beach Sun News) Rated: A

Liu’s partner in the Chinese company Yiqian Funding, a peer-to-peer lending business that seeks investors, testified May 3 in her fraud trial in Nanjing that Liu was in control of the company when it became unable to pay many investors what prosecutors estimate to be $1.17 billion — or 7.4 billion yuan.

 

European Union

Klarna acquires universal shopping cart Shop.co (Ecommerce News) Rated: AAA

Klarna has acquired Shop.co, a small German startup that wants to simplify online shopping by offering a universal shopping cart. There’s little known about the deal, but according to Klarna it’s mostly about the acquisition of intellectual property and taking over a mere Shop.co employees..

According to t3n, a purchase sum somewhere in the mid double-digit millions is also likely. But later on, Klarna told another media outlet, Tech.eu, that the purchase price is far lower than some media have been speculating. It also said that it’s most acquiring intellectual property and employees.

Keeping on Top of Emerging Payment Solutions – Q&A with Klarna (Retail Tech News) Rated: A

Luke Griffiths: Klarna’s approach to online commerce is very different from that of traditional providers. Our overarching philosophy is to give consumers the freedom and flexibility to decide how and when they want to pay. At Klarna, we offer three payment options that cover all consumer needs for seamless shopping: ‘Pay now’, ‘Pay later’, and ‘Slice it’.

Pay now enables straightforward and immediate online payment purchases. This option allows customers to pay for their purchases in full via Klarna’s speedy online checkout and payment service using a card. Many of our merchants choose the Klarna checkout as it is proven to reduce abandoned baskets and provide a better user experience for shoppers.

Our second payment option, Pay later, allows shoppers to ‘try before they buy’. Customers have either 14 or 30 days to pay for their goods (depending on the merchant) after their items have been delivered, with no interest or fees – or they can return the items if they’re not what they expected.

EMaC launches ‘Drive Now Pay Later’ service for dealers (Motor Trader) Rated: B

EMaC, the service plan specialist, is widening the services it offers dealers and end consumers with the launch of a pay later credit facility for vehicle repairs and accessories.

The company, which is has also launched a new identity, has teamed up with credit provider Klarna to offer the “Drive Now Pay Later” service.

EMaC said its new Drive Now, Pay Later product would give dealers access to a credit facility to assist their customers in financing repairs and other vehicle related accessories.

Banks seek tech talent for digital shift (Financial Times) Rated: A

European Banks have increased advertising for IT and engineering roles by more than 10 times in the last 3 years; a new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit and Temenos shows for the first time that bank executives believe technology like AI and blockchain will have a bigger impact than regulation; being about 10 years removed from the financial crisis has help shift the view of banks to focus more of their time on digitization instead of regulatory compliance.

 

 

International

Meet the Goldman Sachs-Backed Fintech Startup Aiming to Take Over North America (Fortune) Rated: AAA

Now Plaid, which raised $44 million in a funding round led by Goldman SachsInvestment Partners nearly two years ago, is looking to expand internationally. The company announced Tuesday that Plaid is available in Canada for the first time—and compatible with both U.S. and Canadian dollars—a move designed to both support current clients’ Canadian expansions as well as attract new Canadian fintech players.

Companies use Plaid’s APIs (or application programming interfaces) as a foundation for building their own fintech products, depending on that secure way to link customers’ bank accounts. Its extension into Canada is a sign that the nascent fintech industry is gaining traction in more parts of the world. TransferWise, a London-based cross-border payments startup that uses Plaid, recently expanded into Canada as part of a global push. And Toronto-based Drop, a loyalty rewards app, is one of Plaid’s first Canadian clients.

Is Fraud a Solved Problem? (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

But one statement stood out to me. Jeff Stewart, the Chairman and Co-Founder of LenddoEFL said that “fraud is a solved problem”.

That is quite a bold statement. So, I reached out to Jeff yesterday to get some more color on what he really means here. He stood by what he said on the panel at LendIt. While we can’t get rid of 100% of fraud what we can do is catch fake identities, fraud rings, and large-scale theft of identity.

It is not surprising that the type and amount of fraud varies between countries. We learned from Thomas Wang of China Rapid Finance in this same session that a staggering 97% of loan applications in China are fraudulent. Think about that for a moment. Only 3% of the applications that a Chinese online lender receives is from a real person. The rest is fraudulent activity often from established fraud rings.

Small Business Banking Catching Up in Innovation Race (Bank Innovation) Rated: A

There are quite a few lending solutions these days for small businesses — Funding Circle, OnDeck, Kabbage, and Square Capital, to name a just a few — but innovation and digitization are lagging in other areas, such as digital account opening. Enter Gro Solutions, a sales and marketing platform for financial institutions.

Australia

Understanding the SME mindset (Australian Broker) Rated: A

More than one in five SMEs – a total of 22% – opted for non-bank alternatives to funding their growth. A further 24% looked to borrow from their main relationship bank, and this bank lending percentage has trended down from 38% in our initial 2014 Index.

The most popular funding choices for SMEs using alternative working capital options in 2017 were debtor finance, which was used by 77%; merchant cash advances, used by 23%; P2P lending, with a total share of 10%; and crowdfunding, utilised by 9%.

India

Payday loan firm EarlySalary acquires CashCare (Media Nama) Rated: AAA

Payday loan firm EarlySalary has acquired CashCare. CashCare sells loans to customers on websites like Infibeam and Shopclues, and accepts repayments in EMIs at annual interest rates ranging between fifteen and 25%, according to CashCare’s website. The service is offered to people who don’t have a credit card too.

While CashCare’s 15% annualized interest rate is not too different from what credit card companies charge, EarlySalary’s payday loans come at a steeper cost. Charging ₹9 for each dayper ₹10,000 borrowed, their interest rate comes out to over 30%, compared to the 1.5–3% annualized interest credit cards charge, as we’ve pointed out before.

Xiaomi to start lending operations in India; to target salaried professionals (The Economic Times) Rated: AAA

IPO-bound Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi has launched its first lending product in India on the lines of the microlending product Mi Credit that it offers in China.

The new credit product, launched in partnership with lending platform KrazyBee, has already gone live and will be officially announced in a few weeks, as per a person aware of the development.

Called CreditBee, the credit product is a payday loan starting from Rs 1,000 up to Rs 1 lakh for a period of 90 days, as per the person cited above. The credit will be offered at an interest rate of 3% per month and will be targeted at salaried professionals, the person said.

P2P lending startup Cashkumar secures angel investment (VC Circle) Rated: A

Cashkumar, a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending startup, has raised angel investment of Rs 5 crore (around $735,000) through deals platform LetsVenture.

The startup’s first external funding was led by Mohan Kumar, executive director at global investment firm Norwest Venture Partners, and telecom company Reliance Jio’s chief digital officer Vishal Sampat.

Capacity-building workshop by RBI (Tribune India) Rated: B

Rachna Dikshit, Regional Director, RBI, Chandigarh inaugurated the workshop. In the event, topics like RBI guidelines, credit guarantee architecture for MSME financing and recovery management, alternative tech driven approaches to financing MSMEs like big data, fintechs, P2P lending, TReDS, movable asset based financing, role of CERSAI, management of sick account, credit scoring and rating models for MSMEs, assessment of term loans and composite loans, effective communication were covered.

 

Asia

Fintech Firm Flywire Teams Up With SP Jain For New Student-Led Singapore-Based Startups Competition (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Flywire, a fintech firm that provides global payment and receivable solutions for education, healthcare, and commercial enterprises, announced this week it has partnered with SP Jain School of Global Management to launch a startup competition, the Flywire Challenge, to power a new generation of transformative entrepreneurship in Singapore and the APAC region.

According to the duo, this competition, which is set to launch this month, solidifies Flywire’s dedication to partnering with powerful regional universities, government bodies and industry, and investing in education and the start-up space, as well as their long-term relationships with international educational and healthcare institutions as a leading payments solutions provider. Flywire will host, sponsor and evaluate a contest following an open call for teams to submit proposals for innovative start-up ideas. Any and all students and graduates, not limited to SP Jain students, will be invited to compete for three awards in the Health Technology, Education Technology and Travel Technology sectors.

Latin America

Mexican investors back microlending startup Vola (VC Circle) Rated: AAA

Bengaluru and US-based Vola, which offers an alternative lending platform for students, has raised $500,000 (Rs 3.4 crore) in a pre-Series A funding round from Mexican insurance and credit firm Credika and unnamed angel investors from the North American nation.

MENA

AI Business Loan Company Lending Express Raises $ 2.7 Million (CTech) Rated: AAA

Israeli business loan startup Lending Express announced on Tuesday it has raised $2.7 million in a seed investment round led by Entrée Capital and iAngels, among other investors.

The company said it would use the capital to further develop its loan-matching technology and scale up its operations in the U.S. and Australia.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday May 31st, Daily News Digest

Wednesday May 31st, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Behind the scenes as Orchard platform struggles, Earnest Prices $175 million Securitization, Peer-to-peer lender Wellesley & Co. pauses origination, RateSetter raises funds as it prepares to list, China Minsheng Investment leads $262m pre-IPO Today’s main analysis : LendingClub Files Presentation in Advance of Annual Shareholders Meeting, Parallels to the High Yield Bond Market, Today’s thought-provoking articles: Blackrock’s Consumer […]

Wednesday May 31st, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

Korea

Australia

India

Singapore

News Summary

United States

Victory Park Capital sells Funding Circle US and Upstart loans, (Peer2Peer), Rated: AAA

The London-listed investment trust said that the loans sold represented 3.65 per cent and 1.48 per cent respectively of the company’s net asset value (NAV) as of 31 March. The firm said it will retain its non-performing Funding Circle US and Upstart loans, which represented 0.68 per cent and 0.21 per cent respectively of NAV as of 31 March 2017.

VPC announced in November 2016 that it was winding down its P2P lending portfolio, after losses triggered substantial writedowns.

Taking into account the loan sales, the company’s balance sheet investments accounted for 63 per cent of the NAV as of 31 March 2017, as compared to 17 per cent for the marketplace loans.

“The company expects to re-invest substantially all of the sale proceeds into balance sheet investments, as well as other strategic uses,” it said in a stock exchange announcement on Friday.

Fintech has peaked, claims Morgan Stanley report, (Alt Fi News), Rated:AAA

In a pessimistic new report, researchers from Morgan Stanley have concluded that while fintech companies style themselves as disruptors they will do more to strengthen than undermine incumbents in the long term.

“Only five disruptors have survived as standalone entities out of over 450 fintech firms launched during the dotcom era,” the report said.

Fintech has been most promising in areas lacking infrastructure and where established players have been weakest. This was particularly true of blockchain and robo-advice.

However, these trends are reversing as major financial institutions have started building their own robo-advisors and acquiring blockchain startups.

“Independent start-ups in the robo-advisor space will struggle to be profitable given the high cost of acquisition and intensifying competition.

“We think however that established financial advisors, banks, insurers, etc. will keep automating parts of their value chain…to improve the infrastructure for established incumbents.”

“Marketplace lenders are poised to grow at a… moderate pace leveraging traditional institutions as primary sources of capital; in essence serving as a more efficient customer acquisition and servicing channel for traditional lenders.

“We remain bullish on the potential for marketplace lenders to take share, as they benefit from regulatory arbitrage and changing consumer behavior.”

Behind the Scenes at Orchard Platform, a Struggle to Innovatete, (NY Times), Rated: AAA

“We’re launching a full marketplace from scratch,” Mr. Burton said a few months later, at Orchard’s Flatiron district office, and we “hope everyone shows up.” But they didn’t.

More than a year after Mr. Burton revealed his big plans, Orchard has completed just a scattering of transactions. Over that time, it burned through more than $5 million in legal fees and other expenses.

Next month, hoping to add momentum, Orchard plans to unveil a scaled-back version of the platform, eight months later than first planned.

But regardless of the company’s fate, its struggles thus far reveal just how hard it can be for a new entrant — even one with successful founders, a promising service and big-name investors — to break into a highly regulated industry.

Seeking financial expertise, Orchard recruited a few Wall Street veterans from Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns. In late spring of last year, Mr. Burton had more than a dozen roadshow meetings with executives from the largest loan platforms, including Lending Club, Prosper Marketplace and Social Finance.

He hoped to charge them monthly fees of $2,500 to $5,000 to participate. Orchard also offered them the ability to be its “data partners,” so Orchard could standardize their data for trading purposes — which Mr. Burton called “the big heavy lift.”

Orchard also enlisted the help of Meredith Cross, a lawyer at WilmerHale and the former head of corporate finance at the Securities and Exchange Commission, as it met with Wall Street regulators.

But in July, S.E.C. officials told Orchard that they would consider loans being traded as securities, potentially imposing a tougher level of oversight. That made some lenders nervous about participating. Some lenders were also concerned about exposing investors they had cultivated to loans from competitors.

“We do not have a current need for a trading platform,” said Ryan Rosett, a chief executive of Credibly, which offers small-business loans. “Our capital markets team has the ability to sell our loans directly to a pool of institutional investors.”

Orchard was also fighting a separate headwind. The broader market for online loans was being buffeted by higher consumer loan defaults and investor fears. Some online lenders cut staff members, and others shut down as loan growth dried up.

As Orchard X struggled to get going, he said, legal documents for trades had “ballooned to 150 pages from a 20-page contract,” leaving him exasperated. “I’m a tech guy!” he said.

As it moves forward, Orchard has played down the regulatory issue, proceeding without an explicit formal S.E.C. ruling on whether the loans are securities. It is a potentially risky move, but one the company believes will work in part because it has dropped its goal of legal standardization, cutting the need for lending platforms to agree on regulation issues. The S.E.C. declined to comment.

In January, Orchard X arranged its first sale of about $30 million in loans from an ailing platform, a small-business lender called CAN Capital. The auction took a lengthy four weeks to complete. But Orchard X did receive a fee of 0.5 percent of the sale price.

Looking back, Mr. Burton said on April 4, Orchard should not have tried to persuade lenders to join the trading platform all at once. Having raised $30 million in 2015, Orchard plans to announce next month that it has raised an additional $20 million or more and to formally roll out its revised Orchard X transaction platform.

LendingClub Files Presentation in Advance of Annual Shareholders Meeting, (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The file can be found here.

LendingClub (NYSE:LC) has filed a new form with the SEC (DEF 14A) in advance of the annual shareholders meeting which is scheduled to take place on June 6, 2017. The addition to the Annual Meeting Proxy Statement, a standard filing, includes a presentation on the company asking shareholders to support Director nominees, executive compensation and ratification of the auditor.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the filing is the synopsis of the events in 2016 that led to the departure of founding CEO Renaud Laplanche and the ensuing aftershocks that pummeled the online lender.

Law firm-issued collections letters continue to pose high risks, (Pepper Hamilton), Rated: AAA

The CFPB has pursued lawsuits, as well as formal enforcement actions, concerning misrepresentations of attorney involvement in debt collection-related communications.

On April 17, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a lawsuit in Ohio district court against the Weltman, Weinburg & Reis law firm (WWR), alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) stemming from the firm’s issuance of debt collection demand letters. The CFPB’s allegations against WWR closely resemble the FDCPA allegations that were considered by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Jones v. Dufek, 830 F.3d 523 (D.C. Cir. 2016). Dufek also concerned a debt collection letter that was sent by an attorney acting as a debt collector and not as legal counsel. On March 20, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Dufek plaintiff’s petition for a writ of certiorari to review the Court of Appeals’ decision in favor of the defendant attorney/collector. Notwithstanding Dufek, however, debt collectors and first-party creditors are well-advised to be extremely diligent when using law firms as debt collectors.

In actuality, the CFPB’s complaint alleges that “no attorney had assessed any consumer-specific information . . . [a]nd no attorney had made any individual determination that the consumer owed the debt, that a specific letter should be sent to the consumer, that a consumer should receive a [collections] call, or that the account was a candidate for litigation.” Thus, according to the CFPB, the subject letters contained numerous misrepresentations that violated both the FDCPA and the prohibitions of the Consumer Financial Protection Act against unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices.

The specific deficiencies cited in the CFPB’s complaint against WWR include the fact that subject letters were printed on law firm letterhead, which prominently included the phrase “ATTORNEYS AT LAW” (in bold type and in all caps) and included the law firm’s name in the signature line.

In determining whether the Dufek letter violated the FDCPA as a false, deceptive or misleading representation, the Court of Appeals noted, as a threshold matter, that “if an attorney is acting only as a debt collector and has not formed a legal opinion about the case, he or she cannot send a letter [stating or implying] otherwise” without misleading the recipient/debtor..

Misrepresentations regarding attorney involvement in collections letters and other communications continue to be a “hot button” issue with the CFPB. The collections letters targeted in the CFPB’s lawsuit against WWR are distinguishable from the letter at issue in Dufek in that the Dufek letter included a disclaimer regarding the attorney’s review of the underlying account. Yet, the CFPB’s complaint against WWR can be read as implying that the use of attorney letterhead and the inclusion of the law firm’s name in the signature line were per se improper.

Earnest Prices $ 175 million Securitization of Refinanced Student Loans; Achieves AA (High) Rating by DBRS, (Market Wired), Rated: A

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – May 24, 2017) – Earnest today announced the close of the $175 million Earnest 2017-A transaction backed by refinanced student loans. The offering received an AA (high) rating on the senior notes by DBRS which is now only one notch below the highest attainable rating of AAA. The transaction was three-times oversubscribed and traded at the tight end of market guidance.

Earnest has now completed five securitizations of refinanced student loans since February 2016 for a total value of over $877 million. In 15 months, the company has increased its rating on the senior notes from A to AA (high), a progression that often takes several years. This speaks to the quality of the underlying collateral and the advancement Earnest has made as a programmatic issuer in the capital markets.

“This marks another strong securitization for Earnest, providing us the opportunity to welcome new investors and continue building our capital markets program. We’re thrilled at the appetite and investor confidence in our offerings,” said Louis Beryl, CEO and co-founder of Earnest.

Elastic line of credit surpasses $ 200 million in outstanding loans, (Email), Rated: A

More than $680 million funded and 155,000 customers served since 2013 validates need for expanded access to credit in the U.S.

FORT WORTH, TX – May 31, 2017 – Elevate Credit, Inc. (“Elevate”), a leading tech-enabled provider of innovative and responsible online credit solutions for non-prime consumers, today announced the Elastic product has surpassed $200 million in total principal outstandings, with more than 120,000 open accounts.

Elastic, a bank-issued line of credit offered by Republic Bank & Trust Company (“Republic Bank”), has loaned over $680 million dollars to more than 155,000 customers, since its launch in 2013. The $200 million in total principal outstandings includes the 10% of outstandings Republic Bank retains. Elastic passed the $100 million in outstandings mark in May 2016.

About Elevate
Elevate (NYSE: ELVT) has originated $4 billion in non-prime credit to more than 1.6 million consumers to date. Its responsible, tech-enabled online credit solutions provide immediate relief to customers today and help them build a brighter financial future. The company is committed to rewarding borrowers’ good financial behavior with features like interest rates that can go down over time, free financial training and free credit monitoring. Elevate’s suite of groundbreaking credit products includes RISE, Elastic and Sunny. For more information, please visit .

Interest Rates on Connext™ Private Student Loans Decrease as Federal Student Loan Rates are Set to Rise, (Email), Rated: A

ReliaMax®, the complete private student lending solutions provider, today announced that the banks and alternative lenders participating in the Connext® Private Student Loan program will lower the interest rates on those loans. EffectiveJune 1, 2017, the lowest rates for variable- and fixed-interest rate Connext® loans for undergraduate and graduate programs will be reduced to 2.87 percent APR* and 5.40 percent APR*, respectively, and the borrower will not be charged an origination fee.

Federal student loan interest rates on new loans are scheduled to increase on July 1 for the 2017-2018 school year. These interest rates are adjusted each year based on the annual Treasury Department auction plus a set percentage amount added for each type of loan program. According to 

Blackrock’s Consumer ABS ETF and Parallels to the High Yield Bond Market, (PeerIQ Email), Rated: AAA

Shares of Lending Club and OnDeck surged last Monday 3.9% and 9.5% respectively, on reporting from the

MPOWER Financing Secures Add-on Investment from 1776 Ventures, (Email), Rated: A

MPOWER Financing (www.mpowerfinancing.com) announced today that 1776 Ventures (www.1776.vc) has doubled-down its investment in the company with an additional $500,000 investment ahead of MPOWER’s planned Series B for this summer. 1776 Ventures is an investment fund focused on seed-stage investments seeking to transform complex industries. In addition to being seed and Series A round investors, their partners have also served as a mentor and close advisor to MPOWER Financing.
MPOWER Financing is an innovative fintech company and provider of educational loans to high-promise international students who do not fit the traditional credit criteria of banks or lenders.

SoFi and JetBlue Help Customers Managing Student Loans Earn Reward Travel, (PR News Wire), Rated: B

Through the partnership, JetBlue’s TrueBlue members who refinance their student loans with SoFi will now earn 1 TrueBlue® point for every $2 they refinance through the lender, up to 50,000 points. With average monthly savings of $288*, refinancing student loans with SoFi frees up extra money that members can use to pursue travel plans, save and invest for the future, or buy a home.

 

United Kingdom

Peer-to-peer lender Wellesley & Co. publishes financial results and loan book, CFO resigns, ( Alt Fi), Rated: AAA

Wellesley & Co., the peer-to-peer lender best-known for investing alongside its investors, has announced wide-ranging changes to the business. In addition to publishing financial results for 2016, the firm has also made a first stab at publishing its loan book online.

Wellesley has now published its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2016. Its loan book grew 10 per cent during the period, to £163.6m, versus £148.7m lent in 2015. The firm made a loss for the year of £210,288, down from a loss of £2.2m in the previous year. But it made a pre-tax profit of £1.3m in the second half of the year.

Other notable points include having supported the development of 822 “mid-priced” homes in the UK. The firm also made a number of new hires in 2016, including Stephen Bell as chief risk officer in February, and Peter Scott as non-executive director in March. The firm claims to have delivered an average interest rate across all products of 4.49 per cent to investors.

Wellesley’s full accounts will be available via its website next week.

Chief financial officer Alasdair Lenman, who was appointed last summer, has resigned from the company. Lenman was hired to help the firm publish its late accounts up to December 2015 ahead of its abortive fundraise on equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs, which was pulled at the start of this year.

Further to these developments, Wellesley has temporarily paused its peer-to-peer lending operations, and is launching a new listed bond on the Irish Stock Exchange.

Turnbull said that Wellesley is pausing its P2P product in order to allow time for technical changes to be made. He said that these changes are designed to satisfy both investor demand and regulatory requirement.

Once re-launched, Wellesley & Co. will no longer deliver monthly interest payments to its investors. The monthly interest payment model was at odds with the style of development loans that the firm originates, which are repaid at maturity. Henceforth, the firm’s P2P product will offer a target rate of return, with interest repaid at maturity.

Wellesley has just launched its third bond, offering investors an annual interest rate of 4.75 per cent over 3 years, or 4 per cent over 2 years, paid monthly. The bond can be held within an ISA wrapper.

The first Wellesley bond was a mini-bond which raised a little shy of £50m. The second was listed on the Irish Stock Exchange, as is this third issue. The second bond was launched in response to ISA demand, and could be invested in via a stocks and shares ISA.

Wellesley is famed for skin-in-the-game approach to P2P, which in practical terms means that it takes a stake of every loan in a first loss position. It has previously been suggested that the proceeds of its bond listings – which in some cases may explicitly be used as working capital by the firm – have been used to fund this first-loss piece, as well as to top up its provision fund.

Peer-to-peer lender RateSetter raises £13m, Woodford and Artemis lead, (Alt Fi News), Rated: AAA

RateSetter, one of the UK’s “big three” peer-to-peer lenders, has scooped £13m in equity investment from existing backers. Investors in the round included well-known fund managers Woodford Investment Management and Artemis.

The two funds first backed RateSetter with a £20m investment in March 2015, in a round that valued the platform at £150m. This latest round takes the firm’s valuation to over £200m, with £50m in equity capital raised to date.

RateSetter has lent a cumulative total of £1.9bn since launching in 2010, according to AltFi Data, and is widely regarded as one of the UK’s “big three” P2P firms. But while the other two members in that trinity (Zopa and Funding Circle) have recently been fully authorised by the regulator, RateSetter continues to operate under interim permissions. FCA rules dictate that it will need to achieve full authorisation prior to launching its Innovative Finance ISA offering.

RateSetter raises funds as it prepares to list, ( Financial Times), Rated:AAA

The online lender has tapped existing investors for what is set to be its last round of private fundraising as the company prepares to list on the stock market to fuel its growth.
RateSetter, which has raised more than £50m of capital in total, will use the funding to launch its lending product in an Individual Savings Account, enabling investors to lend to borrowers online in a tax-free wrapper.
Funding Circle, which has in the past couple of weeks become the largest peer-to-peer site in the UK, also passed the FCA’s authorisation test last week, paving the way for its Innovative Finance ISA.

UK fintech shrugs off Brexit, trumps Germany, (Alt Fi News), Rated: A

Fintech firms  based in the UK have received more than double the overall capital invested into German fintechs  since the start of 2016. In fact, investments grew 81.7 per cent year on year from $284m in Q1 2016 to $516m in the opening quarter of this year, according to research by FinTech Global, a consultancy,

Investments, however, in both German and UK fintech companies have hit five-quarter high’s in Q1 2017 with $218m and $516m amount invested, respectively.

Both the UK and Germany raised nearly half of their total respective funding for 2016 in the opening quarter of the year. Therefore, fintech investment in both countries is on track to surpass the value invested last year.

UK fintech investments in Q1 was driven by the $101.8m round raised by Atom Bank while Germany’s largest deal went to deposit marketplace start-up Raisin which raised $32m Series C round.

India’s Wadhawan Group takes stake in Zopa, (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

ZOPA has raised £40m in a fresh equity fundraising round, led by Indian conglomerate Wadhawan Group.

Seedrs has joined Funding Circle and iwoca in partnering with Natwest, (Business Daily), Rated: B

Equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs has become the latest alternative finance provider to join a major Natwest programme that aims to open doors for UK SMEs to sources of finance.

“As the most active equity investor in UK private companies, Seedrs has already funded over 500 investment rounds for fast-growth SMEs, with more than £210 million invested into campaigns on our platform to date.

China

China Minsheng Investment leads $ 262m pre-IPO in P2P lending firm, (Deal Street Asia), Rated: A

China Minsheng Investment Group, one of the country’s largest private investment group, has led a RMB1.8 billion ($262 million) pre-IPO investment round in Chinese peer-to-peer lending company Tuandaiwang. Other investors in this round include Beijing Yisheng Innovation Technology and Beihai Hongtai Investment. This investment brings the company’s value up to RMB10 billion ($1.46 billion), said a report in China Money Network.

Tuandaiwang operates a P2P lending platform, which enables users to lend their saving at a higher investment return rate than traditional saving rates. It claims that individuals and companies have borrowed around RMB78 billion ($11.4 billion) since its launch in 2012 and lenders can make RMB2.3 billion ($335 million) in returns. The company said that it would spend this proceeds on the platform’s development and investment in other tech assets. The investors in its previous rounds with a combined funding of RMB675 million include JD Capital, Dongguan Securities and Giant Investment.

XIAOMI has started a bn Loan Refinancing, (Xing Ping She), Rated: A 

Chinese smart phone giant XIAOMI has started a three-year loan refinancing for a 2014 loan agreement, with the maximum amount is $1bn. The borrower is XIAOMI(Hong Kong), and the parent company XIAOMI acting as the guarantor. The deadline for underwriter is 23rd June, and the roadshow will be held on 1st June in Hong Kong. Deutsche Bank and Wing Lung Bank jointly served as book runners. The loan has been divided into two parts: Part A for regular loans ( $500 million) , and part B for revolving credit loan ($250 million).

It was revealed that XIAOMI’s $1 billion three-year loan in Oct 2014 was the company’s first show in the loan market. Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley was the initial leading and bookkeeping banks, and other 25 banks were involved in the loan.

P2P Company Tuandai Raised 0m in a new round of financing(Xing Ping She), Rated: A

Tuandai Group has closed a new round of financing of $270m. The financing was led by Minsheng Capital with $104 million.

Tuandai was set up in 2011, and transformed its core business to P2P Lending in October 2016, dividing its services into asset sector and the internet sector. In early time this month, Tuandai changed the name of their platform from “Tuandai Network” to “Tuandai Network丨 P2P Lending Investment”, and would be engaged in the intermediary business about network lending information.

European Union

Banco BNI Europa boosts European SMEs with €10M investment in Portuguese peer-to-peer platform RAIZE, ( Email), Rated: AAA

European Bank BNI Europa signs strategic partnership with Portugal’s largest peer-to-peer lender RAIZE

Portugal/Eurozone: Portugal’s economic recovery fuels interest in SME lending through peer-to-peer platforms

Agreement follows a £45M deal with the UK’s largest invoice peer-to-peer platform in May, 2017

RAIZE (www.raize.pt) is Portugal’s largest peer-to- peer lender focusing on SME lending. The online lender operates its own payments institution licensed and regulated by the Bank of Portugal and currently has more than 10,000 investors lending to SMEs. The platform expects to lend more than €15 million in 2017.

Korea

Local start-up Lendit raises 10 billion won, ( Korea JoongAng Daily), Rated: A

Lendit, a leading marketplace lending start-up, said Monday that it has raised 10 billion won ($8.9 million) from a group of investors including Altos Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based investment firm. Local venture capital fund YellowDog and Collaborative Fund, a New York-based firm, also contributed to the Series-B financing.

“We aim to cement Lendit’s position as the top lending startup in consumer financing by using the funds to boost R&D and foster professionals for tech and finance,” said Kim Sung-joon, CEO & founder of Lendit.

Founded in 2015, Lendit is the country’s top marketplace lender in the consumer lending segment with accumulated loans at 47.4 billion won as of May 29.

Australia

‘Green loan’ marketplace receives $ 20m, (Investor Daily), Rated: A

RateSetter’s new marketplace seeks to provide “more affordable finance options” for the purchase of energy efficient products by both businesses and individuals.

The marketplace has been given a ‘kickstart’ with a $20 million cornerstone investment from the government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), RateSetter said in a statement.

It is anticipated that thousands of everyday Australian investors who want to earn attractive returns, while improving the country’s energy footprint, will participate in funding green loans via the marketplace.”

India

RBI guidelines on P2P lending platform likely by June-July, ( Live Mint), Rated: AAA

The Reserve Bank is expected to come out by June-July with guidelines to regulate the Indian peer-to-peer (P2P) lending market. The RBI had floated a consultation paper in April 2016 on the Indian P2P lending that has been taking roots in India.

At present, the status is that “it has gone from the RBI to the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry of Finance has put it out to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and they have to come back (on the subject matter),” Mathews said. Faircent.com, which went live in 2014, has so far facilitated lending to the tune of Rs20 crore from its platform and set a much bigger target for the current fiscal. “So far, we have facilitated around Rs20 crore loans from Faircent platform.

This year we are scaling, we have to do some Rs50 crore of loans this fiscal,” he added. Next week, the company will also enter into loan against property (LAP) domain and match prospecting borrowers and lenders through Faircent.com, Mathews said.

“Constructive Synergy”: Indian P2P Lender Faircent Introduces New Student Loan, ( Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Indian online P2P lending platform Faircent.com announced a new semi-secure student loan product in collaboration with Bangalore-based micro-lending startups.

Under the partnership, college students may fund purchase of items such as laptops, books and smart mobile, by registering their loan requirements on the platform at a “reasonable rate” with a flexible loan period ranging between 6 and 36 months.

Singapore

Singapore’s biggest marketplace lender hits S$ 40 million originations, ( Alt Fi News), Rated: A

Singaporean marketplace lender Capital Match has hit S$40 million in loans funded and has started rolling out infrastructure to onboard European investors.

“The traditional SME lending sector in Singapore is highly inefficient and oligopolistic: at present the largest four banks account for 80 percent of SME Singaporean banking relationships,” Tobias Fischer, Director of Corporate Development, told AltFi.

“[But] banks have been more strict in their lending policies so there has been huge demand on the borrowing side.

“As a result [SME lending] is incredibly profitable, so there are great opportunities for investors to achieve excess returns.”

Authors:

George Popescu