Tuesday October 23 2018, Daily News Digest

FREED Upgrade bond characteristics

News Comments Today’s main news: OnDeck to add PNC to ODX platform. FICO to add alternative data to credit score. PeerStreet named to CB Insights Fintech 250 list of fastest-growing fintech startups. Lendy asks for help. Pintec Technology shoots for $41M IPO. Today’s main analysis: Zelle sees record earnings, FREED 2018-2 and UPGR 2018-1 compared. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Funding […]

FREED Upgrade bond characteristics

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United States

OnDeck Announces PNC Will Be The Second Bank On The ODX Platform (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

It was back in December of 2015 that we first learned about OnDeck’s partnership with JPMorgan Chase. This was the first significant partnership between a large American bank and an online lending platform and it caused a lot of excitement in the industry back then.

A couple of times this year we have heard OnDeck CEO Noah Breslow hint that a second major bank was coming on as a partner soon. Today, we learned who that partner will be: PNC Bank. They are the ninth largest bank in the country, so this gives OnDeck two of the top ten largest banks as clients.

I caught up with Noah and Brian Geary, who heads up OnDeck’s new ODX division (we covered the story of ODX just last week) to talk about this new deal.

FICO Plans Big Shift in Credit-Score Calculations, Potentially Boosting Millions of Borrowers (Wall Street Journal) Rated: AAA

Credit scores for decades have been based mostly on borrowers’ payment histories. That is about to change.

Fair Isaac Corp., creator of the widely used FICO credit score, plans to roll out a new scoring system in early 2019 that factors in how consumers manage the cash in their checking, savings and money-market accounts. It is among the biggest shifts for credit reporting and the FICO scoring system, the bedrock of most consumer-lending decisions in the U.S. since the 1990s.

PeerStreet Named to the 2018 CB Insights Fintech 250 List of Fastest-Growing Fintech Startups (Business Wire) Rated: AAA

PeerStreet, a marketplace for investing in real estate backed loans, is honored to announce that it has been named to the second annual CB Insights Fintech 250 list, a prestigious group of emerging private companies working on groundbreaking financial technology. This comes on the eve of PeerStreet’s third anniversary of opening to the public. PeerStreet opened to all accredited investors on October 30th, 2016 at Money 20/20, an annual conference which is happening this week in Las Vegas. Both PeerStreet founders Brew Johnson and Brett Crosby are in attendance.

PeerStreet is being recognized as a leader in real estate investing for the platform’s innovative approach to making real estate debt an accessible asset class for retail investors. The loans offered for investment are vetted by private lenders who know their communities well, and then again by PeerStreet’s own team using big data and market research.

Marcus Slows Lending Growth, Zelle vs Venmo, Freedom & Upgrade Deals (Peer IQ) Rated: AAA

Bank of America – Record Earnings and Results for Zelle

BofA’s earnings were boosted by the highest Net Interest Income since 2011 delivered by its Lending business.

BofA also saw P2P payments rise on its Zelle platform increase 138%. Venmo, over the last year, has been on the defense due to increased consumer fees and leadership changes. SnapChat’s payment service was discontinued. Tech firms such as Google, Facebook, Tencent, and Ant Financial continue to test payments in overseas markets like India (where it is easier for FinTechs to utilize payments rails).

MS remains laser-focused on growing asset management and lending (secured and warehouse lending) and delivered the best stock price performance post earnings. The stock gained 5.7% post-earnings.

Source: Bank Earnings, PeerIQ

Freedom (FREED 2018-2) vs Upgrade (UPGR 2018-1)

Below we compare these deals on their collateral composition, bond characteristics and triggers. We note that each lender has substantially different lending programs, credit risk profiles, and history – and that shows in terms of deal structure and execution.

Collateral Composition

FREED 2018-2’s collateral pool consists of 2 types of loans – 45.5% Freedom Plus (F+) and 54.5% Consolidation Plus (C+).

F+ Loans: F+ loans are unsecured consumer loans to near prime and prime borrowers. F+ collateral has a WA age of 3 months and WA remaining term of 46 months. The WA current FICO score of the pool is 713 and the WA interest rate is 16.2%.

C+ Loans: C+ loans are offered to select qualified debt settlement clients as an option to shorten the duration of their debt settlement program by making funds available immediately to fund settlements reached by Freedom Debt Relief. C+ collateral has a WA age of 8 months and WA remaining term of 45 months. The WA current FICO score of the pool is 562 and the WA interest rate is 22.9%.

UPGR 2018-1’s collateral pool consists of unsecured consumer loans. The collateral has a WA age of 2 months and WA remaining term of 41 months. The WA current FICO score of the pool is 691 and the WA interest rate is 15.9%.

Freedom’s C+ loans have the highest weighted average coupons and original loan terms among all the pools, and Freedom’s F+ borrowers have the highest weighted average credit scores. The higher weighted average coupon on C+ loans helps the deal generate significant excess spread.

Source: Ratings Agencies, PeerIQ
Source: Ratings agencies and Peer IQ

Identity Risk Scoring from Socure Helps Radius Bank Reduce Online Fraud (Finovate) Rated: A

partnership between AI-powered identity risk scoring innovator Socure and workflow management specialist Alloy has enabled Radius Bank to decrease online fraud by 50%, increase new account conversions by 30%, and make manual review nearly a process of the past – reducing it by 95%.

The joint solution marries Socure’s predictive analytics with Alloy’s decisioning engine, and adds a variety of on- and offline data sources, predictive fraud tools, and a flexible rules engine to enable real-time decisioning and onboarding for new account openings.

Plaid is seeking funding at a $ 2 billion valuation (Business Insider) Rated: A

Plaid, a fintech company whose software is used by Silicon Valley heavyweights like Betterment, Coinbase, and Robinhood, is holding talks with potential investors about raising money that could value the firm at more than $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

The fundraise is still in the early stages, the people said, and a formal deal with investors has yet to be finalized.

In April, Forbes reported that the company’s private valuation was $1 billion — meaning that Plaid, which counts 10,000 banks among its customers, could see its valuation double in less than six months.

Klarna Pairs up With Rancourt to let Shoppers pay Over Time (PR Newswire) Rated: A

Today at Money20/20 in Las Vegas, Klarna, a leading global payments provider, introduced their Slice it in 4 payment option, which allows consumers to pay for purchases in installments using their own debit or credit card. In conjunction with the launch, Klarna has signed its first U.S. merchant, Rancourt & Co., premium leather shoe crafters, to use the offering.

In today’s market, 67% of U.S. millenials do not own a credit card. With Klarna’s Slice it in 4, shoppers can increase their purchasing power without the hassle of a credit agreement or long-term commitment. Four equal payments are automatically collected from the consumer’s chosen method of payment – one installment at purchase and three further payments every two weeks. The plan features no upfront costs or interest and is offered online within the merchant’s existing checkout – ensuring the purchase journey is frictionless with no redirects to other sites.

The cost of fraud rises 8.1 percent, year over year, for U.S. lenders, according to LexisNexis Risk Solutions study (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

Today, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, a part of RELX Group (NYSE: RELX), released its 2018 True Cost of Fraud study on lending. The 2018 study, which surveyed 186 risk and fraud executives at various lending institutions, including mortgage companies, auto lenders, non-bank personal loan issuers, non-bank credit card issuers and finance companies, highlights the continued rise of fraud costs for U.S. lenders. According to the LexisNexis Fraud Multiplier℠, for every dollar of fraud, lenders incur $3.05 in costs, compared to $2.82 in 2017, an 8.1 percent increase. Larger digital lenders, with at least $50 million in annual revenue, are hit hardest by fraud, incurring $3.37 in costs, which is up from $3.07 in 2017.

Other key findings from the study include:

  • 54 percent of risk and fraud executives at large digital lenders state that verification of customer identity is their largest challenge. This is especially true of verification through the online channel.
  • Lending firms that use a multi-layered solution approach experience a lower cost of fraud. Those who layer core + advanced identity authentication + advanced transaction / identity verification solutions have lower fraud costs than others, per fraud event ($2.63 for every $1 of fraud versus up to $3.47) and as a percent of annual revenues. They also tend to have a lower volume of false positives.
  • Large digital lenders with international transactions attribute nearly 40 percent of their fraud losses to their non-domestic business. Fraud that originates in Asia represents 57 percent of the total international fraud expenses for these lenders.
  • Large digital lenders are more likely to represent “best-in-class” thinking about the adoption of fraud mitigation solutions, as they face attacks that are more significant.

Small Businesses Need Their Bankers More Than They Realize (Nasdaq) Rated: A

It’s easy to see why entrepreneurs are bonding with alternative lenders. What’s not so easy to see is why they’re leaving bankers out of the loop. However, with renewed trust in each other, both institutions are finding mutual benefits. What’s more — the B and B called “Business and Bankers” is finding a renewed comeback.

Say you’re a small business owner feeling the squeeze. You could turn to a traditional bank that requires loan applicants to go through a rigorous review process for a 20 percent chance of approval. Or you could apply online with a peer-to-peer firm that approves more than 60 percent of applications and receive a decision in minutes.

MoneyLion Announces America’s Most Powerful and Rewarding Financial Membership (Business Wire) Rated: A

MoneyLion, the innovative financial platform offering consumers a better way to borrow, save, earn and invest, today officially launched America’s most powerful and rewarding financial membership to help people take control of their finances and achieve their dreams.

In support of the most powerful financial membership, MoneyLion will be launching the Financial Heartbeat as well as a comprehensive suite of premium banking products to help everyday Americans better understand and engage with their finances.

Study Shows Student Debt Can Kill 75% of Millennials’ Average Net Worth (Magnify Money) Rated: A

As of 2018, outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. surpassed $1.48 trillion, almost one-and-a-half times what Americans owe on credit cards.

According to a MagnifyMoney analysis of Federal Reserve data, all this debt is hampering millennials’ chances for long-term financial success.

In fact, this study revealed that the average net worth of a millennial with student loans is only 25% of the net worth for a fellow millennial without them. What’s more, the data suggest student loan debt is preventing some millennials from saving for retirement or buying homes.

Key facts

Millennial households with student loan debt have…

  • An average net worth of $29,087, compared with $114,376 for student loan-free households.
  • 46% less in their savings and checking accounts (median balance of $5,500 vs $10,180 for those without student loans).
  • $21,160 in retirement savings versus an average of $39,905 for those with no student loan debt.

HSBC gets back into US consumer lending (Financial Times) Rated: A

HSBC is getting back into US consumer lending almost a decade after it was forced to write off $10.6bn for its last foray into that market.

The UK banking giant said on Monday that it is launching a digital lending platform for US customers in the first half of 2019. The platform will be powered by online lender Avant, which has already processed almost $5bn of loans for more than 600,000 customers.

Transparency, career development and — a puppy button? Here’s how OppLoans shapes its culture (Built in Chicago) Rated: A

OppLoans CEO Jared Kaplan likes to stress that a company can’t responsibly serve its customers without creating an inclusive atmosphere for its employees first.

That’s why OppLoans promotes from within and supports career development with ongoing education initiatives. We spoke with Kaplan and two other leaders at the company to learn more about what they do to ensure their team feels truly valued.

How would you describe your leadership style?

My leadership style follows a few key principles: rule by motivation, not fear; drive a high-performing culture and reward the top performers; and enable ultimate transparency. If employees are excited to come to work, see clear development paths when they perform and understand the good and bad of the business, I’ve created a great place to work.

We also ensure a workplace where everyone is encouraged to speak their minds when they see opportunities to improve the business.

Hundy Launches Mobile App Turning High Cost Payday Loans Into Low Cost Friends & Family Loans (Hundy Email) Rated: A

Hundy, a peer-to-peer micro-lender that empowers the creditworthy to benefit from their good character, announced today at Money 20/20 that it has released the latest update to its lending platform enabling friend-to-friend lending for a low 1% fee. Now, even borrowers who don’t pass a credit check, will be able to request a loan from a friend or family member utilizing all the tools of the platform including signed loan documents, SMS and email reminders, and automated payment scheduling. Hundy was designed to foster community around a marketplace of borrowers and lenders whose participants benefit from transparent terms, wide availability and low prices.

Gary Beasley of Roofstock (Lend Academy) Rated: A

Investing in real estate has been around for centuries but it is only in the past few years that it has become possible to do this remotely and at scale. While institutional investors have had lots of options individual investors have been limited, for the most part, to buying homes in their local area.

Our next guest on the Lend Academy Podcast is Gary Beasley, the CEO and co-founder of Roofstock. Gary and his team have created the first online platform for investing in single family homes across the US. They help investors select the homes, obtain financing as well as find tenants and property managers.

OCC still ready to grant special fintech charters despite state lawsuits (Lexology) Rated: B

The OCC is still moving forward with plans to grant Special Purpose National Bank charters to qualifying non-depository financial technology firms, notwithstanding a lawsuit challenging the move from New York state regulators and the threat of additional litigation. In response to a question following her speech at the October 9 Online Lending Policy Institute conference, Grovetta Gardineer, OCC’s senior deputy comptroller for compliance and community affairs, said the OCC will accept applications from fintech companies seeking the SPNB charter and intends to grant charters to applicants meeting the criteria. As reported in the October 8 edition of Bank Regulatory News and Trends, the New York State Department of Financial Services filed suit against the OCC, challenging the federal agency’s authority to grant the charters. The Conference of State Bank Supervisors also signaled its intention to file suit against OCC over the charters.

Princeton Alternative Income Fund’s Independent Restructuring Officer Rejected by Ranger Direct Lending (PR Newswire) Rated: B

Princeton Alternative Income Fund’s (PAIF) latest attempt to resolve its bankruptcy dispute by appointing an independent restructuring officer was rejected by Ranger Direct Lending (RDL.L)(RDLZ:LN) last week.

The fund proposed hiring respected former United States Bankruptcy Judge Donald H. Steckroth as an independent officer to oversee the fund’s restructuring to protect all its investors. The executives at Ranger had demanded the appointment of an independent officer earlier in the bankruptcy process only to reject it this week.

CrowdOut Capital Continues Expansion With New Hires (Business Wire) Rated: B

CrowdOut Capital LLC, a pioneer in non-bank private lending for growing middle market companies, today announced two new additions to its management team, Christina Gustavson and Darlene Esquivel.

Gustavson will be CrowdOut’s first controller. She brings a strong accounting background having worked as a senior accountant at C3 Entertainment and at RGM Advisors, an Austin-based quantitative trading firm. A licensed CPA, Gustavson earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Texas State University.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle Q3 2018 Update (Proactive Investors) Rated: AAA

Funding Circle Holdings plc (“Funding Circle” or the “Company”), the leading small and medium enterprise (“SME”) loans platform in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands, today announces updates to its statistics pages for the three months ending 30 September 2018 (the “Quarter”) and selected highlights from the quarter.

The data by country included in this announcement is also available on the Company’s website at corporate.fundingcircle.com/investors/loan-performance-statistics.

Source: Proactive Investors

UK peer-to-peer lender asks regulator for help (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

A British peer-to-peer property lender has taken the unusual step of appealing to its regulator for help after one of its biggest borrowers threatened to sue the company and many of its investors.

Retail investors in Lendy are already facing tens of millions of pounds in potential losses after almost two-thirds of borrowers failed to repay their loans on time, according to a Financial Times analysis of its loanbook.

The developments threaten to trigger the first big crisis in Europe’s rapidly expanding peer-to-peer industry, at a time when the sector is fighting to convince regulators it does not need stricter regulation.

Peer-to-peer lending growing in popularity (Computer Weekly) Rated: A

P2P lending is becoming a significant alternative source of financing for SMEs in the UK. According to Entrenching Innovation – The 4th UK alternative Finance Industry Report, published in December 2017, P2P business lending grew from £21m in 2011 to £1.23bn in 2016, generating £3.14bn over the six years. The report noted that the annual growth rate in volume from 2015 to 2016 was 40%.

The report cited data from the British Banking Association that revealed P2P business lending equated to 15% of new small businesses loans. More than a fifth of borrowers had a turnover of less than £500,000 and 23% were in the £500,000 to £1m turnover bracket. It also found that lenders were biased towards localised funding. This diversity of lending across the UK suggested that P2P business lending could become “a suitable solution to systemic geographic biases that exist in traditional and bank SME lending”.

The UK extends its lead as Europe’s established tech unicorn capital (City AM) Rated: A

London has cemented its standing as the capital of Europe’s billion-dollar technology startups, as surrounding cities help to push the UK forward while its companies expand internationally.

New figures released today show the UK has now created 60 so-called unicorn startups – companies with a valuation of $1bn (£769.6m) or more – since 1990, according to research prepared for Tech Nation and the government’s Digital Economy Council by Dealroom.

London houses 36 of those UK startups, representing more than a fifth of all unicorns in Europe at a total valuation of $132bn. In comparison, Berlin holds the second biggest city spot with just eight unicorn startups, worth $32bn.

New partnership aims to encourage growth in P2P lending market (Introducer Today) Rated: A

Landbay has chosen Oracle NetSuite to create a more accessible buy-to-let mortgage marketplace for investors, borrowers and brokers.

Through NetSuite, Landbay will be able to process loan applications ten times faster than other lenders and enable its staff to make swifter decisions around mortgage applications and investor sign ups.

Founded in 2014, Landbay offers individual investors direct access to the lucrative mortgage lending market and offers landlords competitively priced buy-to-let mortgages, with plans to lend £1 billion to UK landlords by 2020.

ACORN machine rebrands to OakNorth Analytical Intelligence (Fintech Finance) Rated: B

OakNorth Holdings Ltd today announces the launch of a new corporate brand identity, logo and website. Its fintech platform, ACORN machine, will now be known as OakNorth Analytical Intelligence (ON AI) and we have a new domain (www.oaknorth.ai).

Rishi Khosla, co-founder of OakNorth Holdings said: “Since our founding, our mission has been to enable small and medium-sized businesses obtain the debt finance they need to grow. Our fintech platform, which we developed to address this problem, is being used by a number of leading banks globally, and by us in the UK.”

China

Pintec Technology Aims For $ 41 Million IPO (Seeking Alpha) Rated: AAA

Pintec Technology Holdings (PT) intends to raise $41 million in an IPO from the sale of ADSs representing underlying Class A shares, according to an amended registration statement.

The company provides a range of point-of-sale and related financial services and solutions to retailers and their customers.

PT appears to be transitioning its business to more diversified revenue streams, and it faces significant regulatory uncertainties and potentially harmful trade war effects that may not be transitory.

Peer-to-Peer Lending in China May Be Going Extinct (Barrons) Rated: A

China’s peer-to-peer lending system may effectively vanish in the next year.

European Union

Lithuanian P2P Lender NEO Finance Now Seeking €200,000 Through Seedrs Funding Round (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

NEO Finance, a Lithuania-based peer-to-peer lending platform, is now seeking €200,000 through UK’s equity crowdfunding platform, Seedrs.

NEO Finance also reported it is the first P2P platform in Lithuania to have reached constant €1 million monthly issues.

The lender also revealed its current stats are:

  • 5400 active lenders
  • 47,000  registered borrowers
  • €21.7 million in loans financed
  • 2017 revenue grew by 395% to €479,000
Australia

MBIE strongly opposed to the introduction of a comprehensive creditor licensing regime as part of government’s loan shark crackdown (Interest) Rated: AAA

A Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment assessment that introducing a comprehensive creditor licensing regime as part of the Government’s crackdown on loan sharks would be worse than the status quo doesn’t appear to be based on much evidence.

The recent announcement from Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi included plans to introduce a “fit and proper person” test for lenders.

This means the fit and proper person test was chosen over two other options floated in June’s Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) discussion paper aimed at increasing lender registration requirements. The other two options were expanded powers to deregister lenders and ban directors from future involvement in the credit industry, and introducing a comprehensive creditor licensing system.

India

Fintech non-performing loans under control, financial authority says (The Jakarta Post) Rated: AAA

The Financial Services Authority (OJK) said the non-performing loans (NPL) rate among financial technology (fintech) firms that use peer-to-peer lending (P2P) hovered around 1 percent monthly, safely below the 2 percent maximal set by the OJK.

“The NPL rate can go as low as 0.9, then rise as high as 1.3 then go down again,” said OJK fintech licensing and supervision director Hendrikus Passagi on Sunday as reported by kompas.com.

Serial entrepreneur Satyen Kothari’s Cube Wealth raises $ 2M in Series A funding (Your Story) Rated: A

Wealth management startup Cube Wealth announced on Monday that it has raised Rs 14 crore (about $2 million) in equity funding from Singapore-based venture fund Beenext, Japan-based Asuka Holding and 500 Startups.

The company said that it will use these funds for additional asset partners, and to develop a network of premium sales and marketing partners across different countries including Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Pune.

Cube Wealth also plans to expand its presence across Europe and Japan, as it is looking to target non-resident Indians from these markets.

Pay for surgery via a cheaper P2P loan (Times of India) Rated: A

If you need a loan for a medical emergency like a surgery, it might help to turn to your peers rather than institution rather than institutions. Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms say they have seen lenders willing to offer interest rates between 8% and 12% for medical emergencies on their platforms. On the contrary, if you try to raise funds as a personal loan from banks, the interest rate is likely to be between 13% and 17%. P2P technology platforms bring borrowers and lenders together, and most offer a variety of  of loans, including personal loans, vehicle loans, education loans and — in some cases — even home loans. Most lenders tend to be individuals too.

P2P players like Faircent, LenDenClub, i2iFunding and LoanTap say they also process medical loans faster.

Asia

Online alternative lending goes mainstream (Opalesque) Rated: AAA

While alternative lending is currently gaining traction among borrowers, it’s also becoming a formidable asset class in its own right, with the U.S. market now accounting for an estimated $50 billion of annual origination.

Born out of peer-to-peer lending, online alternative lending has gone mainstream, presenting new opportunities for small businesses, consumers and investors.

According to Morgan Stanley Investment Management’s study, what began as “peer-to-peer” marketplaces bringing together borrowers and lenders has evolved considerably in recent years.

Alternative-lending platforms now span many categories, including unsecured consumer, small-business and other forms of specialty financing, it said.

Africa

Local fintech start-ups bag R16m in funding (IT Web) Rated: AAA

Prospa, a mobile savings  for low-income earners, and Nisa Finance, an invoice financing platform, are among the eight local fintech start-ups awarded a total of R16 million in funding by AlphaCode.

AlphaCode is an incubation, acceleration and investment vehicle for early-stage financial  businesses, powered by Rand Merchant Investment (RMI).

The AlphaCode Incubate initiative, in partnership with Merrill Lynch SA and Royal Bafokeng Holdings, identifies South African financial services entrepreneurs with extraordinary ideas and businesses that could impact the financial services industry.

More than 200 start-ups applied to participate; of these, 16 made it to the final pitch evening and eight recipients were selected.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday October 18 2018, Daily News Digest

Major US Banks Active Mobile Banking Users

News Comments Today’s main news: Upgrade to debut ABS bond. KBRA assigns preliminary ratings to Upgrade Receivables Trust 2018-1. Funding Circle launches free iPad incentive. China’s P2P lending is in trouble. Today’s main analysis: State laws put installment loan borrowers at risk. (A MUST-READ) Today’s thought-provoking articles: SoFi’s data science head on machine learning and non-traditional lending. LendingClub’s Bill Walsh says […]

Major US Banks Active Mobile Banking Users

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United States

Online lender Upgrade prepares debut ABS bond  (International Financing Review) Rated: AAA

Upgrade, an online lending company started by former LendingClub founder Renaud Laplanche, is looking to sell a debut asset-backed bond deal, four people with knowledge of the deal told IFR on Wednesday.

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Upgrade Receivables Trust 2018-1 (Business Wire) Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to four classes of notes issued by Upgrade Receivables Trust 2018-1 (“UPGR 2018-1”). This is a $286.390 million consumer loan ABS transaction that is expected to close October 30, 2018.

This transaction represents the first ABS securitization collateralized by unsecured consumer loans originated through the online marketplace lending platform operated by Upgrade, Inc. (“Upgrade”) and the first from the Upgrade Receivables Trust (“UPGR”) shelf. Upgrade Receivables Trust 2018-1 (“UPGR 2018-1” or the “Issuer”) will issue four classes of notes totaling $286.390 million. The proceeds from the sale of the notes will be used to purchase the loans and related rights from Upgrade Receivables Depositor LLC (the “Depositor”), who purchased the loans from the unaffiliated transferors, to fund the reserve account and to pay transaction expenses. The Depositor will in turn sell the loans to the Issuer.

Preliminary Ratings Assigned: Upgrade Receivables Trust 2018-1

Class Preliminary Rating Expected Initial Class Principal
A A (sf) $187,308,000
B BBB (sf) $32,569,000
C BB (sf) $28,440,000
D B (sf) $38,073,000

SoFi’s data science head: Opening the funnel to non-traditional borrowers with machine learning (Thomson Reuters) Rated: AAA

ANSWERS: What are some of the issues in machine learning that you are working to solve for right now?

WU: I think where machine learning plays the biggest role is in datasets that have extremely high numbers of dimensions, very low signal ratios and very sparsely populated values. For example, people in lending use data from the bureau. There are millions and millions of rows, there are thousands and thousands of columns. Each specific field has very little to no signal and each person has very few things that are actually populated. Those are opportunities where machine learning, particularly deep learning, has an extremely high potential.

ANSWERS: How can machine learning assist with lending decisions, and how does one keep bias from creeping into that?

WU: When making a decision on creditworthiness, machine learning can help lenders look at metrics beyond FICO and income. Whether it’s adding more information to traditional metrics versus determining creditworthiness of applicants without a full credit history, machine learning can drive tighter risk management while assessing borrower’s creditworthiness where traditional models cannot.

LendingClub’s Bill Walsh: ‘At its core, marketing is a data problem’ (Tearsheet) Rated: AAA

Today’s marketer on the hot seat is Bill Walsh, LendingClub’s general manager and head of marketing for personal loans. Bill brings an engineer’s approach to marketing. The MIT grad began his tenure at Lending Club in an operations role, where rigorous problem solving was used to solve some of the biggest problems in the business. Now that he’s leading marketing on the consumer side, he brings a similar approach.

We talk about how LendingClub defines marketing and approaches channels. We pay particular attention to a recent TV campaign you might have seen over the summer of 2018. Measuring and responding to the signal is core to LendingClub’s approach and in the course of this four week broadcast campaign, Bill’s team iterated twice. This puts ad agencies on notice — this is the new data-driven fintech marketing world.

Mobile banking is reaching a saturation point in the US (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

JPMorgan Chase counted32.5 million active mobile banking customers in Q3 2018 — an 11% year-over-year (YoY) increase from 29.3 million in Q3 2017.

That’s up from the 31.7 million active mobile customers in Q2 2018, but is also a slight deceleration from the 12% YoY growth in Q3 2017— following several quarters of decelerating growth: Chase has been adding around 800,000 mobile users on a quarterly basis.

Wells Fargo counts 29 million total active digital customers — 22.5 million of which use mobile banking. This marks an 8% annual increase in mobile banking customers, but a 4% YoY increase in total digital customers, demonstrating that most of its new customers are coming from mobile channels.

Source: Business Insider

State Laws Put Installment Loan Borrowers at Risk (PEW) Rated: AAA

Pew’s analysis found that although these lenders’ prices are lower than those charged by payday lenders and the monthly payments are usually affordable, major weaknesses in state laws lead to practices that obscure the true cost of borrowing and put customers at financial risk. Among the key findings:

  • Monthly payments are usually affordable, with approximately 85 percent of loans having installments that consume 5 percent or less of borrowers’ monthly income.Previous research shows that monthly payments of this size that are amortized—that is, the amount owed is reduced—fit into typical borrowers’ budgets and create a pathway out of debt.
  • Prices are far lower than those for payday and auto title loans. For example, borrowing $500 for several months from a consumer finance company typically is three to four times less expensive than using credit from payday, auto title, or similar lenders.
  • Installment lending can enable both lenders and borrowers to benefit. If borrowers repay as scheduled, they can get out of debt within a manageable period and at a reasonable cost, and lenders can earn a profit. This differs dramatically from the payday and auto title loan markets, in which lender profitability hinges on unaffordable payments that drive frequent reborrowing. However, to realize this potential, states would need to address substantial weaknesses in laws that lead to problems in installment loan markets.
  • State laws allow two harmful practices in the installment lending market: the sale of ancillary products, particularly credit insurance but also some club memberships (see Key Terms below), and the charging of origination or acquisition fees. Some costs, such as nonrefundable origination fees, are paid every time consumers refinance loans, raising the cost of credit for customers who repay early or refinance.
    Source: PEW

Read the full report here.

Bank Of America’s Zelle Boosts P2P Transactions 138 Pct In Q3 (PYMNTS) Rated: A

Bank of America cut expenses and reduced its provision for credit losses as the financial institution also beat analysts’ revenue and earnings expectations. Bank of America, in reporting its latest financials on Monday, also said that Zelle P2P payment transactions increased 138 percent year over year.

Revenue increased about 4 percent year over year, hitting $22.8 billion, higher than analyst expectations of $22.67 billion. The financial institution reported earnings per share of 66 cents, which represents a 43 percent year-over-year increase and is above analyst expectationsof 62 cents. Net income grew 32 percent to $7.2 billion.

Bank of America said its provision for credit losses decreased $118 million during the third quarter of 2018, to $716 million. “The net reserve release was $216 million, driven by continued improvement in consumer real estate and energy portfolios,” the bank said in its Q3 financial report.

As digital banks proliferate, so do risks (American Banker) Rated: A

Facing intense deposit competition from online-only banks such as Ally Financial and Goldman Sachs’ Marcus, many traditional banks are looking to turbocharge their deposit gathering by launching — or considering launching — digital banks of their own.

PNC Financial Services Group is the latest big bank to join the fray, recently rolling out a digital-only bank in markets where it lacks a brick-and-mortar presence. Like JPMorgan Chase, Citizens Financial Group and a number of other regional and community banks, PNC is counting on its digital bank to attract low-cost deposits to fuel loan growth while also helping it reach new demographic groups.

Early results have been promising — PNC CEO William Demchak said Friday that he’s been “pleasantly surprised” by the response in the Kansas City, Mo., market — but with the space becoming so crowded, industry watchers are beginning to question if the U.S. marketplace can reasonably support so many new digital banks.

Source: American Banker

Outside Financial Launches to Help Consumers Save up to $ 3,000 on Auto Loan Packages (PR Newswire) Rated: A

Outside Financial, an independent auto loan marketplace, launched its consumer-first platform today to bring transparency to auto finance. The company is the first to offer full auto loan packages outside of the dealership, which can save customers $1,000 to $3,000, along with time and hassle. Outside Financial also arranges refinances for existing borrowers.

In 2017, Americans racked up $568.6 billion in auto loans1, yet 60 percent of buyers don’t know they can bring their own financing to the dealership. The company’s new Outside Financial (OF) Markup Index* reveals that, on average, new car buyers are charged $1,717 in hidden markups when arranging their loans through a dealer.

Individual Investors Can Now One-Click Invest in Commercial Real Estate with CrowdStreet’s “Blended Portfolio” Offering (Benzinga) Rated: A

CrowdStreet, which operates the largest and most diversified online marketplace for direct equity investment in U.S. commercial real estate, is now raising $25 million for the company’s first CrowdStreet Blended Portfolio investment offering. To provide individual investors and registered investment advisors another way to diversify their investments with commercial real estate, the company plans a series of diversified and specialty portfolio investment options that will collectively raise and invest up to $170 million.

The first CrowdStreet Blended Portfolio’s proceeds will be deployed across 30-50 pre-vetted projects on the CrowdStreet marketplace, representing a broad range of commercial and multifamily asset types, risk profiles and geographies.

Credible.com Unveils First Truly Consumer-Centric Mortgage Marketplace (Business Wire) Rated: A

Credible.com, the leading online loan marketplace, announces the launch of its first-of-its-kind mortgage marketplace. Credible.com is the only mortgage marketplace that provides actual rates from top lenders in 3 minutes (without affecting a borrower’s credit score), and a streamlined digital origination process. The platform is designed to save borrowers frustration, time and money.

The Credible.com mortgage marketplace builds on the success of the company’s marketplaces for student loans, student loan refinancing, and personal loans, which have facilitated more than $1.6 billion in loans to date. The first product offered through the mortgage marketplace is mortgage refinancing, which went live today in 20 states that collectively represent 65 percent of mortgage originations.

Talking Regulation at the Online Lending Policy Summit (Lend Academy) Rated: A

The big topic of the day was the OCC’s Special Purpose National Bank Charter also known as the Fintech Charter. The topic was laid out for the audience by the first keynote speaker, Grovetta Gardineer, the Senior Deputy Comptroller for Compliance and Community Affairs at the OCC. She talked about the history of the OCC going back to 1863, with the National Banking Act, when the dollar supplanted state currencies as the sole currency of the United States, a revolutionary idea back then. Ms. Gardineer reaffirmed the authority of the OCC to introduce a national fintech charter and talked about how companies should proceed if they are interested. While she would not comment on specifics she did say that the OCC is currently having preliminary conversations with fintech companies but no formal application has been received yet.

The new head of the CFPB’s Office of Innovation, Paul Watkins, talked about the importance of the regulatory sandbox concept. He was one of the architects of the Arizona fintech sandbox and he is bringing that knowledge with him to Washington. He talked about the two main tools to help facilitate innovation at the CFPB: their trial disclosure program and the no action letter.

How Dealstruck Arrived, “Disrupted,” and Died – A Cautionary Online Lending Tale (deBanked) Rated: A

A self-described member of the “lucky sperm club,” a not-even 30-years-old Senturia went on to successfully raise $30 million of investor capital to fund his business, enough to fuel his rise and price-shame his competitors for years. But it wouldn’t last, as he detailed in book, Unwound, about the behind-the-scenes chaos that ravaged Dealstruck until the company closed for good in late 2016.

AFR Wholesale announces partnership with Floify (Housingwire) Rated: B

AFR Wholesale and Floify shook hands on a partnership, and AFR will now use Floify’s point-of-sale technology.

AFR’s goal in partnering with Floify, a 2018 HW Tech100 winner, is to reduce origination time and increase broker productivity. According to the release, Floify’s POS platform can save up to 15 hours of processing time per loan.

This is only one of an ever-increasing number of companies partnering with software companies or developing their own tech solutions in hopes of increasing productivity and getting some breathing room in the margin department in this tough mortgage market.

iintoo Launches Principal-Protection Product for Retail Investors Supported by Insurance Provided by Everest (iintoo Email) Rated: B

Online Real Estate Investment Management Company iintoo Investments Ltd. (“iintoo”) launched Epiic (Equity Protection Investment Community), the first-of-its-kind real estate investment product that provides principal protection for private accredited investors. Supported by insurance provided by an affiliate of Everest Re Group, Ltd. (NYSE:RE), a leading international reinsurance and insurance organization with operations that span the globe, and a social community pool, Epiic offers two layers of protection for investors’ principal.

iintoo opens up access to real estate investments that were once exclusive to professional funders and high-net-worth individuals. Starting at $25,000, accredited investors can invest in ownership shares in projected high yield, premium real estate projects.  Each project undergoes a rigorous due-diligence and approval process provided by iintoo.  In order to assess the risk factors in real estate investing, iintoo also conducted a thorough analysis of the real estate market in the United States, taking into consideration all sectors in all 50 states over the past 30 years.

TRANSACT Tech San Francisco to Examine the Impact of Software Providers on the Payments Industry (PR Newswire) Rated: B

The Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) will bring together executives from leading banking, payments and FinTech companies on November 1, 2018 for TRANSACT Tech San Francisco at the Wells Fargo Connections Center. The event will explore how software services are changing the way key ecosystems players – processors, banks and hardware manufactures – serve merchants and channel partners.

The day-long conference will kick-off with a fireside chat with Secil Watson, Executive Vice President and Head of Digital Solutions for Business at Wells Fargo. “Customer expectations are changing rapidly, and pace of change in technology is accelerating.” said Watson. “Yet we still have cash and checks. What can we learn from today’s customer experiences to build a better payments ecosystem for tomorrow?

Finicity Partners with Freddie Mac to Provide Industry-Leading Automated Income and Asset Assessment Solution (Finicity Corp) Rated: B

Finicity, a leading provider of real-time financial data aggregation and insights, announced today it has been selected as a third-party service provider for the new Freddie MacLoan AdvisorSM automated income and asset assessment capabilities, which provide a faster, easier way for lenders to verify loan application data upfront. Finicity’s digital verification reports greatly improve efficiency and accuracy, while also providing a simpler, more pleasant borrower experience.

Freddie Mac announced its new income and asset assessment capabilities at the Mortgage Bankers Association Annual Convention & Expo earlier today. Finicity’s verification reports are integrated within Freddie Mac Loan Product Advisor®, the cornerstone of Loan Advisor Suite.  When the capability goes live later this quarter, asset verification will be generally available and income verification will be available as a limited release.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle launches ‘free iPad’ incentive (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

LISTED peer-to-peer platform Funding Circle is enticing new investors by offering a free iPads. But there’s a catch – they have to add at least £30,000 to their Funding Circle accounts before 16 November.

The P2P platform is also offering a number of other cashback and ‘giftback’ incentives to lenders who invest lower amounts of money.

Investors who add £20,000 to their Funding Circle accounts will receive £200 in John Lewis vouchers, while those adding £15,000 will get an Amazon Echo.

LendInvest Update: Accelerates BTL Production Application Volume Thanks to Rate Reductions (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

UK-based online lender LendInvest announced last week it has reduced rates and product fees across its Buy-to-Let product range. According to LendInvest, the pay rate for its five year fixed rate product has dropped to 3.60%, with the ICR calculation at a pay rate of 3.60%. Meanwhile, product fees for all BTL mortgages on standard property and HMO cases have been reduced to 1%, with borrowers who prioritize leverage in mind.

The lending platform also reported that for a limited time, valuation fees have been reduced to £100 for all standard property cases. LendInvest will now cover the borrower’s legal fee scale costs for standard property, standard conveyance cases, where dual representation is selected.

You think it’s going to be easy challenging the big banks? Think again (The Times) Rated: A

here has never been a more opportune moment for the pack of digital upstarts looking to topple the institutions that dominate the financial industry. Rarely does a week go by when a big bank does not suffer an IT meltdown, spewing sensitive data into the ether or freezing customers out of their accounts.

A decade after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, public distaste for the high street banks remains at elevated levels. Two thirds of Britons do not trust big banks to act in the best interests of society, according to a recent YouGov poll. The advent of smartphones, meanwhile, has fundamentally altered consumers’ expectations of their relationship with service providers.

Amex brings SME financing to UK with ezbob (Banking Tech) Rated: A

American Express (Amex) has partnered with online financing platform ezbob to offer UK SMEs competitive access to finance.

Through this partnership, eligible Amex business clients will receive a referral to apply for up to £300,000 in finance from ezbob at a fixed annual interest rate from 3%.

Carlos Carriedo, senior vice-president of global commercial services at Amex, says: “We know agility is crucial for smaller businesses to help retain a competitive advantage but accessing the finance needed to react swiftly to changing customer demands, or seize an opportunity, can be a challenge.”

Amex customers taking out a loan with ezbob will also benefit from a 40,000 Membership Reward points offer, the company adds.

Connect for Intermediaries announces new panel (Mortage Strategy) Rated: A

Connect for Intermediaries has announced the launch of a new unsecured lending panel.

Comprising Funding Circle, iwoca, Whitoak and Fleximise, the panel will be open to all of Connect’s AR members, and Connect will be able to obtain terms on behalf of other brokers as referrals.

Loans from £5,000 to £250,000 for up to five years will be available from 1.5 per cent.

Connect sales director Kevin Thomson says: “We have seen an increased demand for unsecured loans for trading businesses, as increasingly, brokers are coming to us with business clients who are looking to ease cashflow or expand their businesses.

P2P Lending Investment Returns Outstrip Many Market Competitors (CL News) Rated: A

P2P lending arrived in the UK back in 2010 with the launch of Funding Circle. The idea was simple. In the wake of the financial crisis, banks were – and still are – paying abysmally low rates of interest to savers. P2P platforms allowed savers to collectively lend money to businesses and individuals, usually over relatively short periods of time. By cutting out the middleman (or to be more precise, banks and other traditional lenders), P2P lenders were able to offer competitive rates to borrowers and superior returns to investors.

The market has evolved over the years. AltFi – which provides specialist news for the alternative investment industry along with a range of analytics services – says the market is growing rapidly. For instance, in 2015, P2P lending platforms brokered around £1.1bn in loans. In the first half of 2018 alone, the figure was £3bn. Separate figures from the Peer to Peer Finance Association reveal that its members have, to date, originated loans to a value of £9bn.

11:FS Foundry’s launch brings digital to banks (Banking Tech) Rated: A

Consultancy firm 11:FS has launched 11:FS Foundry, an approach to delivering digital banking services through a modular core banking architecture. It kicks off with the partnership with DNB, Norway’s financial services group, which has also become an investment partner.

DNB has invested £3 million for a 5% stake in 11:FS Foundry. This investment represents the long-term commitment between 11:FS and DNB to change how banks deliver digital banking services, the two companies say.

Watchdog warns payday lenders over customer complaints (Financial Times) Rated: A

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority encouraged payday lenders to proactively compensate past customers; the industry has come under a lot of heat in recent months after a surge of complaints; companies say a lot of these complaints are bogus and a pushed by professional claims management companies (CMCs)

Wonga was forced to shut down a few months ago after they saw a significant rise in complaints, complaints now cost companies more than $725 per complaint after the first 25 complaints; the rise in complaints has come after new rules were put in place in 2015 where high cost lenders we ordered to drop fees and adhere to stricter standards; a new survey by Kantar TNS showed that 60 percent of payday loan customers still pay more than anticipated.

Fintech offers fresh ways to finance an MBA (Financial Times) Rated: A

According to David Simpson, admissions director at London Business School, MBA students spend just as much time trying to find funding as they do trying to find the right program; while struggling to find his own financing Prodigy Finance CEO Cameron Stevens though there had to be a better way so he started Prodigy with two former classmates.

The company is now growing fast by offering a service few others do, while also collecting credit records from across the globe; “You have talented people who have proved their potential in receiving offers to business school,” says Mr Stevens to the FT. “The only barrier for them is funding, because the banks are still incredibly localised, as they were in the 1500s.”

Arbuthnot Banking Group PLC Third Quarter Trading Update (Arbuthnot Group) Rated: A

Customer Lending balances are 28% higher than at the same time in the prior year and originations of new loans are 18% higher. However, as previously stated, the Group remains committed to maintaining its discipline in both credit underwriting decisions and return on capital when extending credit.

The newly launched Asset Based Lending division continues to develop ahead of the original business plan and has a strong pipeline of new opportunities. The Specialist Finance division has now completed the hiring of its core team of six employees and is currently setting up its operations based in Manchester. It is expected that it will write its first deals toward the end of the fourth quarter or early 2019.

OakNorth appoints form PRA director to board (Finextra) Rated: B

OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – today announces the appointment of Martin Stewart, the former Director of Banks, Building Societies & Credit Unions at the Bank of England, as an Independent Adviser on its advisory board.

Stewart joined the Bank of England in April 2013 and spent five and a half years there. In addition to supervising UK banks, building societies, credit unions and new entrants into UK banking, he was a Member of the PRA’s Executive Team responsible for PRA regulatory policy. His regulatory experience also includes spending three years at the FSA between 2010-2013, where he was a member of the leadership team that defined and implemented the UK’s post financial crisis prudential regulatory regime that now underpins the work of the Prudential Regulation Authority. In addition to this, he has almost two decades’ board-level experience having been Managing Director of a group of European subsidiary companies of the IFG Group PLC for almost four years, and as Chairman of the International Credit Union Regulators’ Network for the last six years.
China

China’s P2P Lending Sector Is in Serious Trouble (Money Makers) Rated: AAA

P2P lending has been lucrative in China with little constraining regulation. The industry is worth as much as $120 billion and has been high-risk, but high return.

Chinese regulators have been clamping down on debt and financial risk, the number of loan defaults is rising, capital investments are running out of the sector, and Chinese citizens are losing money. And getting pretty angry about it.

In July 2018, 114 P2P lending platforms in China were shut down or had funds suspended, without warning, by China’s regulators over liquidity concerns. Since June 2018, 243 online P2P lending platforms have gone bust.

Several Chinese Peer-to-Peer Lending Companies Have Submitted Self-Inspection Reports (Capital Watch) Rated: A

With hundreds of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms having collapsed at the beginning of this year, different district-level financial bureaus recently rolled out a tougher reform on all P2P platforms’ risk compliance to ease a growing panic among investors.

This industry reform involves three major steps. First, all platforms have to complete a P2P Compliance Self-Inspection Report and submit it to the bureau by the end of October. Then, companies will be inspected by its local Internet Finance Industry Association, a non-state association. This will be followed by verification of inspection results by district-level Municipal Bureau of Financial Work with field inspection and a possible final check by higher-level government organizations.

New York-listed Hexindai Inc. (Nasdaq: HX) and PPDAI Group Inc. (NYSE: PPDF) both announced that they have completed and submitted the report.

European Union

A risky investment (Euro Weekly News) Rated: AAA

MANY UK nationals living part of the year in Spain, or visiting often, might spend months here but still retain tax residency in their home country.

This means those looking for investment opportunities can still take advantage of UK tax efficient products such as Finance ISAs – ones which use peer-to-peer lending to offer high rates of return. They may be nothing new but one legal justice firm has upped the ante offering returns of up to 8 per cent a year.

International

Advantages of P2B platforms in lending to SMEs (Lendit Conference Blog) Rated: AAA

In the EU and Australia, SMEs comprise 99.8% of all the firms and employ about 67% of the workforce. To tell the truth, SMEs might be rightfully called the economy, not just the backbone of it. A few other facts that follow are paradoxical. 2 years ago, International Finance Corporation (under World Bank) presented statistics that the gap for underfinanced SMEs around the world stood at 2.6 trillion $. One might expect, the situation got better in recent years with the global economy picking up and showing better and better numbers. On the contrary, most recent statistics from the same institution shows that the gap has widened to 5.2 trillion $.

P2P platforms make lending process global

P2B platforms can connect a business on one side of the world with an investor from another side of the world, and with a third party providing a service from yet another part of the world. All applications for loans can be made online, processed, assessed and the decision made within a matter of a few hours. Compare it to a similar process with the banks and the difference, that of speed and efficiency becomes clear. As an asset (loan) is put on the platform, investors can start investing within a matter of seconds. In such a way, a local business, somewhere in Eastern Europe can get funds from someone (or institutional investors) in UK or Germany and be able to use the collected amount for business operations within a couple of days.

4 developments that will shape the future of fintech (Business Matters) Rated: A

Within the past decade, we’ve seen the landscape of fintech move from a few disruptive start-ups to an industry that’s changing the landscape of business altogether. Consumers are becoming more and more accepting of technology as part of their day-to-day finance, a factor that has stretched the services sector and levelled the playing field with traditional institutions.

For instance, there has been a monumental shift in the way that consumers are managing their money. PwC’s Global Fintech Survey 2017 found that 84% of incumbent financial services providers believed their customers were already making payments with fintech companies, 68% thought customers were conducting fund transfers, and 60% said their clients were using fintech for their personal finances.

Quona Capital leads $ 5 million round for Brazilian small business lender BizCapital (Impact Alpha) Rated: A

Brazilian fintech firm BizCapital launched operations in January to help Brazil’s small business owners secure capital necessary for the day-to-day and growth needs of their businesses. Quona Capital, a financial tech investment firm that spun out of Accion, has led the company’s R$20 million ($5 million) investment round. Two existing investors, Monashees and Chromo Invest, both based in Brazil, also participated.

Roughly 70% of Brazil’s micro and small business owners are shut out of mainstream bank lending and instead resort to taking personal loans, which can carry interest rates as high as 200%. BizCapital offers short-term loans for up to R$150,000 ($40,000) at annual rates in the mid-double digits. The company hasn’t disclosed the size of its loan book but says it’s received more than 100,000 credit requests and serves customers in all 26 Brazilian states.

Australia

Global corporate lending platform, Trade Ledger has warned the Federal Government of substantial weaknesses in its proposed Open Banking implementation plan, when compared to the global best-practice model.

These primarily include the lack of an independent implementation and governance organisation, and limited consumer and small to medium-sized enterprise representation in the development of industry standards.

According to Trade Ledger, these omissions “risk a scaremongering campaign around data security that could stall progress and reduce the scope of the changes, leaving the door open for overseas financial markets to take over our local markets in the new era of Open Banking”.

India

UIDAI Asks Non-Banking Fintech Companies To Stop Aadhaar-Based Services (Inc 42) Rated: AAA

After getting telecom companies to submit their exit plans from Aadhaar-based services, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the Aadhaar regulatory body, has now asked digital payment companies to stop offering any sort of Aadhaar-based service on their platforms.

In a letter, the UIDAI also directed digital payment companies to submit confirmation of closure of Aadhaar-related authentication and their alternative plans to exit from the Aadhaar-based ecosystem.

According to reports, the UIDAI has sent the letter only to non-banking companies such as PayPoint, Eko India Financial Services, and Oxigen Services, among others.

Citing unnamed sources, an ET report stated that banks and payment companies such as Paytm, which have obtained banking licences, have not received the notice.

Africa

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.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday August 20 2018, Daily News Digest

transition states

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi is shopping for $1B credit line. KBRA assigns preliminary ratings to Prosper Marketplace Issuance Trust, Series 2018.2. Monzo headed to unicorn status. China Rapid Finance debuts up to $20M share repurchase program. Today’s main analysis: Forcasting cash flows using machine learning. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Report sheds light on early success of real […]

transition states

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

Other

News Summary

United States

SoFi Eyes $ 1B Credit Line, Post Q2 Loss (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

Student loan refinancing company Social Finance (SoFi) is looking for a loan of its own: The company is in talks with banks to secure a revolving credit line of as much as $1 billion after posting a second-quarter loss.

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Prosper Marketplace Issuance Trust, Series 2018-2 (Business Wire) Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Prosper Marketplace Lending Issuance Trust 2018-2 (“PMIT 2018-2”). This is a $500.5 million consumer loan ABS transaction.

Preliminary Ratings: Prosper Marketplace Issuance Trust, Series 2018-2

Class Preliminary Rating Initial Class Principal
A A+ (sf) $335,500,000
B BBB (sf) $59,950,000
C B+ (sf) $105,050,000

Forecasting Cashflows using Machine Learning, Strong Retail Sales Report (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

The price of a loan is the present value of the loan’s cashflows (after accounting for losses and prepayments), discounted by an appropriate discount rate:

Source: PeerIQ

Cashflow Modeling with Credit Models

The inputs of a credit model are loan attributes and borrower factors such as:

  • Originator of the Loan
  • Term of the Loan
  • Interest Rate on the Loan
  • Original Principal of the Loan
  • Age of the Loan (Months on Book)
  • Loan Grade
  • Prior Loan Status
  • Borrower’s Credit Score at Origination

The sparse transition model assumes 7 possible loan statuses which describe the performance of the loan:

  1. Current (or Status C)
  2. 1 Month Delinquent (or Status 1)
  3. 2 Month Delinquent (or Status 2)
  4. 3 Month Delinquent (or Status 3)
  5. 4 Month Delinquent (or Status 4)
  6. Default (or Status D)
  7. Paid Off (or Status P)
Source: PeerIQ

Once a loan arrives at a terminal absorbing state (“Defaulted” or “Paid Off”) there is no future possible transition as there are no further cashflows. Therefore, the probability of a loan remaining defaulted is 100%.

Source: PeerIQ

Model Calibration

Source: PeerIQ

PeerIQ CEO Ram Ahluwalia on OCC Fintech Charter: Consumers Win if it is Implemented Correctly (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

We asked Ahluwalia who will benefit from the OCC Fintech Charter and whether it was big tech, Fintechs or other.

“The long-term winner of the charter is the US consumer who will benefit from greater competition, innovation, and access to the financial system. New technology and entrants will also promote the dynamism and resilience of the US financial system,” stated Ahluwalia. “Payments companies that seek to compete with Visa / Mastercard also stand to benefit. Payments arms of firms like Google, Apple, Amazon, and PayPal would fit the profile, as well as large non-bank lenders that can demonstrate sustainable profitability de-risked their business models. Fintech lenders are a major winner as well as they’ll be able to compete on a more level playing field. Big technology firms have an opportunity to expand their role in financial services as well.”

New Research Sheds Light on Early Successes  of Real Estate Crowdfunding (EquityMultiple Email), Rated: AAA

Some of the survey’s key findings include:

  • A full 65 percent of respondents plan to allocate at least 10 percent of their portfolios to real estate crowdfunding sites, with nearly 40 percent expecting to allocate at least 20 percent
  • More than 60 percent of respondents report typical annual returns of at least 8 percent
  • Respondents considered “transparency and details with respect to investment opportunities” the most critical factor in a crowdfunding platform, exceeding all other choices, including “attentive customer service” and “diversity of investment opportunities”
  • With respect to individual investments, “geographic focus” (i.e. where a property is located) matters less to investors than “sponsor/lender experience”, the property’s upside potential or several other factors
Source: Real Estate Crowdfunding Investor Preferences

Read the full report here.

Key Facts About the SBA (Email from SmartBiz Loans ) Rated: AAA

Source: SmartBiz Loans

Many Fintech Names on the Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies (Lend Academy) Rated: A

Of the 5,000 companies on this year’s list exactly 233 are in the financial services category. Below is a screenshot of the top 10 companies in this category. Leading the list is Fundrise, the real estate platform for individual investors, a name that would be familiar to Lend Academy readers (I interviewed CEO Ben Miller on the podcast last year). Another well known name is Fundera, the small business lending marketplace, who were the third fastest growing company in our category. I encourage you to explore the complete list here where you can search for specific companies or filter by industry, state and many other criteria.

Source: Lend Academy

Treasury’s plan to legitimize online lenders is good for small businesses (The Guardian) Rated: A

Companies in this industry such as KabbageLending Club and BlueVine have grown significantly over the past few years by offering financing to many small businesses that otherwise would not be able to get loans. Their deals are quick to approve, rarely require collateral and are usually tied in to a customer’s financial systems for close monitoring.

Last month, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced that it was moving ahead with its plan to allow online lenders to apply for banking charters. When recognized as a bank, those types of financiers would no longer have to comply with state laws and would instead be subject to federal banking regulations. “Companies that provide banking services in innovative ways deserve the opportunity to pursue that business on a national scale as a federally chartered, regulated bank,” Joseph Otting, the comptroller of the currency, one of the country’s top financial regulators, told the Los Angeles Times.

RPT-‘Fintechs’ sound cautious note on offer of U.S. bank charter (Rueters) Rated: A

Financial technology companies that lend online are sounding a cautious note on a U.S. banking regulator’s plan to offer them special federal charters because of concerns over legal challenges and requirements that are more onerous than expected.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said last month it would accept applications for banking licenses from the likes of LendingClub and OnDeck Capital Inc, online lenders that do business outside the traditional banking system. They then could operate nationwide under one banking license rather than a patchwork of state-specific regulations.

Fintech executives lobbied for the license and applauded the OCC’s decision, but they are not immediately rushing in, they told Reuters.

CRA-like standards for fintechs could reduce access to credit (American Banker) Rated: A

As reported in American Banker, consumer advocacy groups are concerned that financial inclusion expectations for fintechs chartered as special-purpose national banks may not perfectly mirror the requirements of the Community Reinvestment Act.

This possibility exists because the final version of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s licensing manual supplement for fintechs lacks the same level of specificity as the draft manual that was published for comment last March. Consumer advocates have been steadfast in their insistence that the substance of the CRA, which by its terms applies only to depository institutions, be applied to nondepository fintech national banks. Yet imposing CRA-like requirements on these institutions would likely result in reduced credit opportunities for low-income communities.

Walmart And Others Offer Workers Payday Loan Alternative (NPR) Rated: A

So when Loving heard about a company called PayActiv, a tech startup that helps companies get their workers emergency cash for very small fees, “I thought to myself, now that’s a good idea,” he says. And he signed up.

“Our data analysis showed that it was close to $150 a month being paid by the working poor — per employee or per hourly worker in this country,” says Shah. “That’s a substantial sum of money because it’s about $1,800 or $2,000 a year.”

Venmo competitor Zelle wants to let you pay businesses, too (Payment Source) Rated: A

Zelle, a Venmo-style app that lets consumers send money to friends, roommates and babysitters, is working on ways to ensure that customers can safely pay small businesses as well, according to people familiar with the situation.

Zelle, backed by Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other banks, is beefing up its risk-assessment tools as part of the effort, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the feature hasn’t been announced. The idea is to help protect users when they’re paying businesses like gardeners and hairdressers.

TransUnion Unveils Solution to Extend Real-Time Credit Offers (DSNews) Rated: A

To meet the evolving needs of consumers, Chicago-based TransUnion has announced the launch of credit offers through a simplified, SMS-initiated, mobile experience. The technology seamlessly integrates real-time credit decisioning with consumer and device authentication, creating a secure, personalized, and dynamic user experience.

Credit Karma acquires US lendtech Approved (Fintech Futures) Rated: A

Credit Karma, based in San Francisco, has 80 million members across North America, almost half of which are millennials and 80% of which access the service via their mobile devices.

Andy Taylor, founder and CEO of Approved, says it started the firm with a “vision that borrowers could visit an open house not having even talked with a lender, find the home of their dreams, and get fully pre-qualified on their mobile device before a listing agent offered them a business card”.

With this joint mobile mentality, both firms will be looking to cash in from the crowded US mortgage market. Approved says it has done nearly $5 billion in loan originations.

RealtyShares and Novaya Real Estate Ventures Exit Industrial Property Investment (Herald Courier), Rated: B

RealtyShares, an online platform for commercial real estate investing, has announced that one of its investment syndicates recently exited an industrial investment property—1 Distribution Center Circle in Littleton, Massachusetts—in partnership with Novaya Real Estate Ventures, an established Boston-based operator of commercial real estate throughout New England.

United Kingdom

Monzo poised to join ranks of Europe’s fintech ‘unicorns’ (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

Monzo, the British digital bank popular with millennials, is set to become the latest European fintech “unicorn” with a fresh round of fundraising expected to put a valuation on the company of up to $1.5bn.

The east London-based online bank, known for its distinctive pink cards, is signing up 18,000 customers a week and aims to reach as many as 4m customers in the next couple of years, according to Tom Blomfield, its chief executive.

Seven out of 10 people in UK now bank online (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

While email is still the most common reason people use the internet, online banking is the fastest-growing use. According to a survey by the Office for National Statistics — looking at the UK population, not just internet users — 69 per cent said they banked online, almost double the proportion recorded 10 years ago (35 per cent).

The ONS began running its survey in 1998. In the case of internet usage, people were asked about their use in the January, February and April before the survey.

Source: Financial Times

How P2P plugged the funding gap for small businesses (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

BEFORE the global financial crisis, banks were the lender of choice for Britain’s small businesses, and perhaps the only option they would consider.

Since then, banks have become more risk averse and are pulling back from lending in some parts of the market, especially since the EU referendum. Peer-to-peer, or rather peer-to-business (P2B), lending has stepped in to fill the gap.

The Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) says the industry provided £660m of new lending to businesses in the first quarter of 2018 and, since the third quarter of 2017, there has been a 35 per cent increase in net lending.

US-based payday loan giants Curo, QuickQuid and Lending Stream could face legal action in ‘bigger scandal than PPI’ (Daily Mail Online) Rated: A

Giant American payday lenders could face legal action in the UK today after they were accused of mis-selling loans to up to a million Britons.

Paydayrefunds.co.uk are preparing legal action against Quickquid, Curo and Lending Stream after the US-payday lending giants have so far refused to disclose information on customers who could be due tens of millions of pounds back in compensation.

The company issued a letter of action six months ago, which is due to run out next Friday. Paydayrefunds.co.uk revealed they have already appointed a barrister in preparation for issuing an injunction at the High Court against the lenders.

Income investing, inflation and P2P lending (Investors Chronicle), Rated: A

Emma Aygemang gives us a report on the Financial Conduct Authority’s study on peer-to-peer (P2P) investing, and there’s a discussion on the implications of restricting the sector to private investors, and where P2P providers need to up their game.

Crypto Lending App Lndr, Adds PayPal Integration to Increase Adoption Rates (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: B

A new cryptocurrency lending app called Lndr is planning integration with one of the most popular financial services in the world: PayPal. This integration will open the ownership to digital assets to 100 million people around the world, which can cause an unseen widespread of cryptocurrency usage even for people who never before considered using cryptocurrencies.

China

China Rapid Finance Debuts Up to $ 20 Million Share Repurchase Program (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

China Rapid Finance Limited (NYSE: XRF), one of China’s largest consumer lending marketplaces, announced earlier this week the launch of its new share repurchase program, which allows the lender to authorized the repurchase of its ordinary shares in the form of American depositary shares with an aggregate value of up to $20 million.

China regulator orders bailout of peer-to-peer lenders by managers of distressed assets (SCMP), Rated: A

During a Wednesday meeting in Beijing, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission asked four managers of distressed assets – Huarong, Cinda, Great Wall and Orient – to extend their mandate to non-performing loans owed by peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms, according to a source familiar with the matter. The meeting was first reported by Reuters on Thursday.

Regulations help resolve P2P plight in China (Global Times) Rated: A

In July, a total of 165 platforms reported problems, among which 65 percent had difficulties in investments withdrawal, while executives of 8.72 percent of those firms stole money and ran away, according to a report released by domestic industry website wdzj.com on August 1.

Accumulated transactions in the domestic P2P industry had reached 7.48 trillion yuan by the end of July, the report said.

On Wednesday, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission asked the country’s four State-owned asset management companies to help address rising risks in the P2P sector, according to media reports.

China orders bad-loan managers to help failing P2P lenders (Financial Times), Rated: A

China’s banking regulator has instructed the country’s four state-owned bad loan managers to deal with failing peer-to-peer lending platforms, a sign of Beijing’s concern about possible financial and social instability from the shadow banking sector.

Hundreds of P2P platforms have collapsed in recent months due to borrower defaults and fraud by platform operators. The defaults have sparked panic among investors, some of whom have sought early redemption of their investments.

European Union

European IPOs may shake off sluggish start with a fall bonanza (Gulf Times) Rated: AAA

European markets are set to see a slew of big initial public offerings this fall. Potential mega listings – from companies such as Aston Martin, Volvo Cars and Spanish oil firm Cepsa Trading – could help Europe overcome a relatively slow first half. IPOs there have raised about $31bn in 2018 so far, compared with almost $38bn in the same period last year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Still, volatile markets threaten to spook investors and owners away from new share sales. Concerns that turmoil in Turkey could hurt the region’s lenders has added to pressure on European stocks from the US-China trade spat. Commodities have tumbled along with US equities, fuelling fears that the sell- off may be the start of a broader market correction.

International

Disruption or evolution? Why blockchain is the future of global lending (IT Pro Portal), Rated: AAA

Global spending on blockchain solutions is estimated to reach $2.1 billion this year, but for there to be a blockchain revolution, many barriers – technological, political, organisational and societal – need to be overcome first.

Currently, citizens in Europe have the lowest levels of ‘complete trust’ in traditional banks. This is worrying, given money is simply a means of exchange, built on the trust bestowed upon it.

However, some bankers will tell you the traditional financial system is ‘global’ and ‘efficient’ as it is, despite being fully aware of its flaws. In our industry, lending, if you’re currently a non-bank lender who would like to diversify your global lending potential, you will find that it is punitively expensive, time-consuming and exclusive to large funds and traders. This ultimately reduces the potential reward for non-bank lenders through fees.

Given the astonishing fact 39 percent of the world’s population are unbanked, blockchain technologies and associated crypto currencies could open the door for anyone, anywhere to lend, borrow and invest. All you need is internet access.

Australia

Aussies borrow money not knowing how personal loans are assessed, study finds (Daily Telegraph) Rated: AAA

AUSTRALIANS have borrowed $46.6 billion in personal loans over the past 12 months, research has found, but experts claim many are unaware of how loan applications are assessed and how they may affect their own credit scores.

RateCity analysed Australian Bureau of Statistics data from the past 12 months and found personal loan numbers were up 6.4 per cent year on year, with more than half a million Australians using them to buy cars in that period. The total borrowing for new cars was $8.33 billion at an average loan size of $36,341; while a further $5.88 billion was borrowed for used cars.

On top of this, we borrowed $6.05 billion for debt consolidation and $2.54 billion for household goods, but despite the huge outlay, many borrowers are confused about how personal loans work and why they may not be offered the low interest rates they see on advertisements.

India

P2P has great potential, but too early to compare with equities (India Times), Rated: A

People with zero or poor credit score find it hard to get a loan from NBFCs and banks. P2P aims to serve such unbanked and underbanked population. Tell us how do you do it?
NBFCs and banks also lend to people ‘new to credit’. These people typically have a financial transaction whether in form of a bank account or income data, whether salaried or self-employed, and can be validated on the risk ratios, basis the information.

Asia

Cambodia Establishes New Fintech Association (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Cambodia Fintech Association also reported it undertakes four major streams of work on behalf of its members, which are the following:

  • Champion: Advise government and regulators on policy change that supports Fintech innovation and growth
  • Assist: Provide research, legal/regulatory help, service provider discounts and other benefits that help our members build and scale their Startups
  • Match: Get customers to buy, investors to invest, and talent to get involved in Fintech solutions
  • Bridging: Connect ventures (capital), talents (education) and other stakeholders within the Cambodia Fintech ecosystem and provide connections to overseas hubs through our network Events and Partners

According to the Phnom Penh Post, CFA Vice President, Eddie Lee, stated that Cambodia is currently progressing in its fintech, but startups are slowly starting to surface in the country. Lee also explained that CFA has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Taiwan Fintech Association, Thailand Fintech Association and Singapore Fintech Association to establish bridges with similar groups in the region. He added that the next step is to register the CFA with the Asian Fintech Network.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday August 8 2018, Daily News Digest

OnDeck KPIs

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi reports $200M loss in Q2. OnDeck jumps 18%. LendingClub sees record net revenues in Q2. Alipay fined for regulation violations. Dianrong raises $40M. Even Financial raises $18.8M. Today’s main analysis: OnDeck’s Q2 2018 earnings presentation. Today’s thought-provoking articles: GreenSky, OnDeck, LendingClub earnings. Where did it go wrong for Wonga? OnDeck’s Q2 earnings presentation. United States SoFi reports […]

OnDeck KPIs

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

Other

News Summary

United States

SoFi Is Said to Report Second-Quarter Loss of $ 200 Million (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Writedowns of underperforming loans drove Social Finance Inc. to a second-quarter adjusted loss of about $200 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

OnDeck jumps 18% after Q2 beat and raise (Seeking Alpha), Rated: A

OnDeck (NYSE:ONDK) surges 18% in early trading after reporting Q2 adjusted EPS that beat consensus by 8 cents and boosting year adjusted net income guidance to $30M-$36M.

OnDeck Reports Second Quarter 2018 Financial Results (Markets Insider), Rated: AAA

OnDeck today announced second quarter 2018 Net income of $5.8 million, Adjusted Net income of $10.0 million and Gross revenue of $95.6 million.

Source: OnDeck Earnings Presentation

Review of Financial Results for the Second Quarter of 2018

Net income was $5.8 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, improved from the Net loss of $1.5 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, in the year-ago period.

Adjusted Net income was $10.0 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, compared to Adjusted Net income of $4.7 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, in the year-ago period.

Unpaid Principal Balance grew 3% sequentially and 8% from a year ago to $1,027 million. Originations of $587 million were consistent with the prior quarter reflecting an increase in the number of loans funded and decrease in the average loan size.  Originations increased 26% from a year ago with growth in both term loans and lines of credit.

Gross revenue increased to $95.6 million, up 6% from the prior quarter and 10% from the year-ago quarter, driven by higher Interest income. The Effective Interest Yield was 36.1%, up from 35.6% in the prior quarter and 33.5% in the year-ago quarter, primarily reflecting increases in average loan pricing.

Source: OnDeck Earnings Presentation

Guidance for Full Year 2018

OnDeck increased its guidance for the full year ending December 31, 2018:

  • Gross revenue between $380 million and $386 million, up from between $372 million and $382 million,
  • Net income between $10 million and $16 million, up from between $0and $10 million, and
  • Adjusted Net income between $30 million and $36 million, up from between $18 million and $28 million.
Source: OnDeck Earnings Presentation

See OnDeck’s full Q2 2018 earnings presentation here.

Why On Deck Capital Stock Is Soaring Today (The Motley Fool), Rated: A

Shares of On Deck Capital (NYSE:ONDK) were soaring by nearly 25% as of 1 p.m. EDT on Tuesday as the company beat consensus earnings expectations in the second quarter and raised its outlook for the remainder of the year.

Lending Club: bob and weave (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Now, the top-line numbers are improving. Second-quarter figures released after market close on Tuesday showed record net revenue, up 27 per cent from a year earlier at $177m, from record quarterly loan originations of $2.8bn.

On top of all that, there was a big writedown this quarter of an acquisition made four years ago, during an ill-fated push into supplying loans to medical patients. Over the first six months, total expenses came to $1.28 for every dollar of net revenue.

Roundup of Q2 2018 Earnings: GreenSky, OnDeck, LendingClub (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

GreenSky went public just a few months ago on May 24, 2018. Their IPO was significant for a couple of reasons. One was the lack of US based fintech IPOs over the last few years and the second was that GreenSky is a wildly successful business. Last year they reported $139 million in net income on revenues of $326 million.

Source: Lend Academy

OnDeck reported net income of $5.8 million for the quarter with gross revenues of $95.6 million, up 10% year over and 6% from the previous quarter. Originations grew to $587 million, up 26% from the prior year period, but down slightly from the previous quarter. The company’s trend of increasing the number of loans funded and decreasing the average loan size continues.

Source: Lend Academy

CEO Scott Sanborn noted that LendingClub’s core business is firing on all cylinders with record revenue and originations. The company has seen a 50% increase in applications year over year. Originations were $2.8 billion, up 31% year over year and up from $2.3 billion in the previous quarter. For context, the company originated their last high water mark of $2.75 billion in the first quarter of 2016. Revenues came in at $177 million, up 27% year over year.

Source: Lend Academy

Even Financial raises $ 18.8 million from GreatPoint Ventures, Goldman Sachs and others (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Even Financial, a fintech startup that connects the disparate entities of the financial services industry, recently raised a $18.8 million Series A round led by GreatPoint Ventures with participation from Goldman Sachs, Canaan Partners, F-Prime Capital, Lerer Hippeau and others.

What’s missing from the OCC’s fintech charter (American Banker), Rated: A

Although the OCC emphasizes that it’s holding these special-purpose charters to standards equivalent to those demanded of national banks, this is only sort of true with regard to the named prudential requirements, and it looks to be completely incorrect on critical restrictions on competitive and financial risk. These omissions have significant consumer protection, safety and soundness and structural impacts. Absent egregious violations, a charter granted cannot be revoked. The OCC should be sure it isn’t a shadow-bank enabler before it hands out these high-powered charters.

Is the backing of the banks enough for Zelle to beat Venmo? (Marketplace.org), Rated: A

Rahul Chadha follows peer to peer mobile banking for the research organization eMarketer. His firm says Zelle will overtake Venmo this year.  Chadha spoke with Marketplace’s Lizzie O’Leary about the two payment systems.

US challenger banks: who’s who and what’s their tech (Banking Tech), Rated: A

BankMobile
A digital bank created by an established US-based financial services player Customers Bancorp. BankMobile opened for business in early 2015.

It caters mainly for students and offers a low-fee checking account with no monthly fees and no overdraft/non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees. It also provides personal loans.

Chime
Founded in 2014, Chime has raised over $100 million funding to date, values the business at around $500 million and has over one million accounts. It employs around 100 people.

Endeavor Bank
Endeavor Bank opened its doors for business in San Diego, California in January 2018, following an initial capital raise of $26.6 million and the backing of over 450 investors/owners. It is a brand new bank, with no merger legacy.

Finn
Finn is a digital bank account for smartphones created by JP Morgan Chase.

GoBank
GoBank was launched in 2013 by Green Dot Corporation, which claims it to be “the first bank account designed from scratch to be opened and used on a mobile device”.

Iam Money
Iam Money has its HQ in Chicago and an office in San Francisco. It also has two offices outside the US, in Dublin and London.

It has secured $3 million of funding, and plans to have $20 million when it launches.

Marathon International Bank
A start-up bank for the Ethiopian American community, based in the Washington DC area. Its founders are Tekalign Gedamu, a retired economist and former MD of the Development Bank of Ethiopia, and Tesfaye Biftu.

Marcus
An online platform launched by Goldman Sachs – named after Marcus Goldman, one of the firm’s founders – offering no-fee personal loans and high-yield savings to consumers.

Moven
Launched in 2011 by Brett King, Moven describes itself as “the world’s first real-time mobile money tool”. It is a digital bank account with a mobile app.

N26
A challenger bank from Germany, now working on its US presence, including obtaining a banking licence. It opened early access to users in the US in October 2017 and has an office in New York with eight staff.

PurePoint Financial
PurePoint Financial was launched in early 2017 by MUFG Union Bank. It is a “hybrid digital bank” offering savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).

Revolut
European banking challenger Revolut opened early access to users in the US in September 2017. It says it aims “to clean up the American banking system”. It provides digital banking services to consumers and businesses.

Simple
Digital banking service Simple was founded in 2009 in Portland, Oregon. It describes itself “a tech company, not a bank”.

In early 2014, it was acquired by BBVA Compass for $117 million.

SoFi

In early 2017, it raised another $500 million, and spent $100 million (in stock) on Zenbanx, a mobile banking start-up. Zenbanx offered a mobile account in the US and Canada that lets people save, send and spend money in multiple currencies. This deal demonstrated SoFi’s interest in branching into other financial services, with a wealth management tool in beta at the time of the acquisition.

Stash

In early 2018, Stash raised $37.5 million in Series D funding for product expansion, and shortly afterwards teamed with Green Dot Corporation and its subsidiary bank, Green Dot Bank, to launch mobile-first banking services (underpinned by Green Dot’s Banking-as-a-Service platform).

Studio Bank
In 2017, Tennessee-based Studio Bank filed an application to become Nashville’s “first newly chartered de novo bank in nearly a decade”.

Varo Money
San Francisco-based mobile banking service Varo Money was founded in 2015. It applied for a national bank charter and federal deposit insurance in mid-2017, to form Varo Bank.

Treasury urges mortgage sector to embrace digital tech (National Mortgage News), Rated: A

The Treasury Department’s recent report on how to regulate nonbanks drew praise not just from tech startups but also from mortgage industry insiders.

In addition to recommendations for a new federal fintech charter and that regulators pull back from payday lending rules, the report contained a section that might be music to a mortgage banker’s ears, including support for the industry’s automation efforts and another call to soften the use of the False Claims Act against lenders.

Blend Launches Insurance Agency (Finovate), Rated: A

Mortgagetech company Blend is venturing into insurance. The San Francisco-based company launched Blend Insurance Agency, an extension of its digital mortgage platform that offers borrowers a range of options for homeowners insurance.

RealtyMogul Sells Four Real Estate Properties on Behalf of Digital Investors (Citizen Tribune), Rated: B

The first property is a 1,242-unit self-storage facility in Fayetteville, NC. It was acquired in December 2013 and sold in January 2018. It was acquired for $6,750,000 and sold for $9,645,000, representing a 43% increase in capital value from acquisition.

The second property is a 40,000-square foot office building in Tamarac, FL. It was acquired in May 2016 and sold in February 2018. It was acquired for $4,150,000 and sold for $4,900,000, representing an 18% increase in capital value from acquisition.

The third property is a 72-unit multifamily apartment building in Ogden, KS. It was acquired in July 2013 and sold in April 2018. It was acquired for $4,000,000 and sold for $4,450,000, representing an 11% increase in capital value from acquisition.

The fourth property is a 208-unit multifamily apartment building in Euless, TX. It was acquired in February 2015 and sold in May 2018. It was acquired for $12,375,000 and sold for $20,900,000 after a value-add renovation program, representing a 69% increase in capital value from acquisition.

Zillow gets into the mortgage business, acquires Mortgage Lenders of America (TechCrunch), Rated: B

Zillow, the publicly traded real estate portal and lead generation service, has acquired Mortgage Lenders of America. This is Zillow’s first move into originating mortgages.

DriveWealth and Bambu Launch Robo Platform for Registered Investment Advisors (BusinessWire), Rated: A

DriveWealth Holdings, Inc. (“DriveWealth”), a fintech company providing brokers, digital advisors and mobile online financial services companies seamless access to the U.S. securities market, and Bambu, a global provider of robo-advisory technology, today announced the launch of a white-label, end-to-end robo-advisory platform solution for the wealth management industry.

Arizona’s Regulatory Sandbox Is Open for Play (The National Law Review), Rated: B

To be considered for admission, applicants must complete the nine-page application and pay a $500 application fee.  Each application must be for an innovative financial product or service as defined by the enabling legislation.

United Kingdom

RateSetter: FCA marketing restrictions are “disproportionate” (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

RATESETTER has hit back at proposed marketing restrictions for peer-to-peer lenders, stating that they are “disproportionate” and “clunky”.

Where did it all go wrong for Wonga? (The Guardian), Rated: AAA

Just when things were meant to be getting better for Wonga, it emerged at the weekend that the payday lender’s investors had to rescue it with a £10m capital injection.

The emergency fundraising is the latest episode in Wonga’s rapid rise and fall. Just six years after the company was touted for a flotation that would have valued it at more than $1bn (£770m), it is reported to be worth just $30m.

Regulation didn’t wipe out Wonga – losing its reputation did (City A.M.), Rated: A

WHEN PAYDAY LENDER Wonga launched in 2007, it was tipped to become a £1bn success story. Today, the company is worth just £23m and has only managed to avoid insolvency thanks to a last-minute £10m boost from investors. So what went wrong?

Rothschild’s Augmentum receives £3.5m Zopa boost (Citywire), Rated: A

Augmentum Fintech (AUGM), the venture capital fund spun off from RIT Capital Partners (RCP) earlier this year, has received a £3.5 million boost from the revaluation of peer-to-peer lender Zopa.

LendInvest makes a series of changes to BTL product (Bridging and Commercial), Rated: A

The specialist lender has removed its requirement for a debenture or floating charge on limited company applications.

It has also reduced its ICR assessment rate to 5% across all products with the exception of the five-year fixed interest product, which remains at 4.19%.

Why brokers should be allowed to speak to decision makers (Bridging and Commercial), Rated: A

Roy Armitage, head of credit at LendInvest (pictured above), is clear that, for a specialist lender, a good working dialogue between the underwriters and the brokers placing the business is crucial.

Participate in the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance Research Study (Lend Academy), Rated: B

They are winding up their largest survey ever right now. In the past they have produced multiple reports targeting the various regions around the world including: the United Kingdom, Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa. This year they are combining everything into one big study.

If you have not participated in the survey yet time is running out (while the survey says it closes on July 22nd, they have extended the deadline for another week or so). We need every platform in this country and around the region to participate. To learn more you can read more about this comprehensive piece  in 

China

China’s Central Bank Fines Alipay (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

Alipay, a payment affiliate of Alibaba, has been hit with a $601,846 fine by the Shanghai head office for the People’s Bank of China.

According to a report in Reuters, citing the central bank, the fine was for payment services regulations violations. The regulator didn’t provide any other details.

Dianrong pockets $ 40 million funding amid mounting P2P defaults in China (Technode), Rated: AAA

Chinese P2P lending platform Dianrong announced that it has raised $40 million of funding from Dalian Financial Investment Group Co. Ltd. The current round will increase the company’s total funds raised to date to over $500 million. Its previous investors include big titles such as Standard Chartered, GIC Private Limited, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, CMIG Leasing, Simone Investment Managers, etc.

China’s P2P lending meltdown (CNBC), Rated: A

China’s P2P lending meltdown from CNBC.

International

Prime Trust to Enable Real Estate Syndicators & Securities Issuers to Accept Funds in Bitcoin & Ethereum (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Prime Trust, a blockchain driven trust company, announced on Monday it has launched a new technology that enables real estate syndicators and securities issuers to accept funds from investors in the form of Bitcoin and Ethereum, frictionlessly and with zero crypto-market risks to the syndicator or issuer. According to Prime Trust, the technology enables holders of these virtual currencies to invest in real estate, crowdfunding and other private and public securities offerings without having to go through the cumbersome and often confusing process of liquidating tokens and then wiring funds in USD to an escrow account at Prime Trust.

TransUnion Partners with EXL to Create Turnkey Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) Solution (MarketWatch), Rated: B

TransUnion TRU, +0.56% announced today it is partnering with global technology and analytics company EXL EXLS, +0.93% to create a seamless technology solution for lenders to comply with the new Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) accounting rule. Information about the new accounting rule will be highlighted during TransUnion’s webinar, “Major Hurdles to Overcome to be CECL-Ready,” scheduled for 1 p.m. CDT on August 15.

Australia

Financial advice institutions to refund over $ 800 million (Business News Australia), Rated: AAA

As the revelations from the Royal Commission continue to pour in, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has revealed that, in total, Australian financial advice institutions will refund customers over $800 million in reparations over fees for no service (FFNS) programs.

Australian challenger banks: who’s who (and what’s their tech) (Banking Tech), Rated: A

86 400

Launched in June 2018, the bank is led by former ANZ Japan CEO, Robert Bell, and ex-Cuscal Payments CIO Brian Parker. Joining as incoming chairman is Anthony Thomson, co-founder and former chairman of Atom Bank and Metro Bank.

Judo Capital

For its tech, it uses a variety of different vendors. Unifii’s Business Transformation Platform is used for its technical infrastructure. For its small business lending platform, it will use one from Realtime Computing, based in Perth, Australia.

Pelikin

Digital banking start-up Pelikin aims to reshape the way people save, send and spend their money in Australia and while travelling abroad. The company’s slogan is “spend like a local”. The founder is Sam Brown.

UBank

Unveiled in 2008 and developed and supported by National Australia Bank (NAB). It operates under NAB’s banking licence, and offers home loans, online savings accounts, and term deposit accounts. UBank has more than 400,000 customers.

Volt Bank

Sydney-based Volt Bank was given Australia’s first new restricted banking licence and is now working towards becoming a fully licensed bank.

Xinja

The neobank emerged from the shadows to unveil its plans for a mobile-only digital bank in 2017. It will have no bricks and mortar branches.

MENA

Visa Invests In Israeli Start-up Behalf (RTT News), Rated: AAA

Visa, Inc. (V) on Tuesday announced an investment and partnership with Israeli start-up, Behalf, to support small business growth through easy-to-access capital and financing.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

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

Monday June 18 2018, Daily News Digest

funding circle

News Comments Today’s main news: Opendoor secures $325M in financing. RateSetter IFISA tops 100M GBP. China Rapid Finance’s earnings call slides. Alior Bank, solarisBank, Raisin, Mastercard partner on European digital bank. Harmoney to lend through its own platform. Amazon launches lending platform in India. Today’s main analysis: Rising interest rates and inflation. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Is P2P lending dying? The economic […]

funding circle

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

Australia/New Zealand

India

Other

News Summary

United States

Opendoor now has $ 325 million more. SoftBank could come next. (Recode) Rated: AAA

Opendoor has already taken out $1.5 billion in loans for home buying. And the company now says it has accepted another $325 million in new financing that values it at more than $2 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Opendoor will expand to 50 cities with the $325 million round. But SoftBank, with its huge $100 billion checkbook, could help Opendoor expand to even more as soon as later this year. The Japanese investor typically invests hundreds of millions of dollars into private companies, and that sort of check would be expected here, though some of the money tends to buy out existing investors.

Rising Rates and Inflation (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

The Fed raised interest rates for the 2nd time in 2018 and the target Federal Funds Rate now stands at 1.75% – 2%. The committee indicated that it would raise rates twice more in 2018, a departure from the previous stance of 3 rate hikes in 2018.

The Fed summarizes member views using the “dot-plot”. The dot plot consolidates every committee member’s estimates of rates at the end of 2018, 2019, 2020 and the for long-term. The green line shows the median estimate indicating that most Fed members expect rates to be between 2.25% – 2.5% at the end of 2018, and between 3% – 3.25% at the end of 2019.

Source: Federal Reserve, Bloomberg
Source: Bloomberg, PeerIQ

Forward Rates – Where do we go from here?

Source: Bloomberg, PeerIQ

Braviant Holdings Announces $ 50 Million Credit Facility with Keystone National Group (PR Newswire) Rated: A

Braviant Holdings, a provider of tech-enabled credit solutions for underserved Americans, has entered into a $50 million senior secured credit facility with institutional investment firm Keystone National Group.

The Keystone debt facility allows Braviant to expand its newly launched near prime lending platform, Chorus Credit. Chorus is Braviant’s latest offering in support of the company’s mission to promote financial inclusion for 51 million adults considered underbanked by the FDIC. While the FDIC estimates that these adults make up 19.9% of U.S. households, data from the Fair Isaac Corporation, better known as FICO, suggests that 43% of U.S. consumers have below 700 credit scores. In the traditional banking sector, a lower than average FICO score severely limits access to credit for almost half of the nation’s population. Chorus aims to close the credit gap for middle America by offering $2,500 to $10,000 personal loans that are repaid in small, affordable installments.

Is P2PLending Dying? (P2P Lending Expert) Rated: AAA

Seriously. I’m asking. Is p2plending dying? Returns have sucked the last couple of years for all investors, but especially us retail investors since the 2015 and 2016 vintages have performed so poorly. My own returns are 400-500 basis points lower than my returns on my 2013 and 2014 vintage loans were and I know some colleagues and friends who have lost money on these investments.

But can the industry survive?

Source: P2P Lending Expert

How Will the Fed’s Interest Rate Hike Impact the Average Joe? (Dough Roller) Rated: A

On Wednesday, The Federal Reserve decided it was going to increase the federal funds rate by 25 basis points, from 1.75% to 2%. This is the second rate increase already this year. In March, new chairman Jerome Powell and the Fed increased the federal funds rate from 1.5% to 1.75%. The Fed also indicated that they’d be targeting two more increases this year alone.

As I said before, when the Fed increases rates, it usually means something is going well for the economy. And all signs are pointing to that being the case. Unemployment is currently at 3.8%. In the last 50 years, unemployment has only been this low two times. That’s significant, and it means that more people are finding jobs. It may also signify a strengthening job market for you. The Fed projects unemployment will drop to 3.6 percent by the end of the year, too.

Zelle is on track to be more popular than Venmo in 2018 (Business Insider) Rated: A

Zelle is a year-old service that lets you instantly transfer money to someone else, much like Venmo or Square Cash.

But Zelle differs from either service in a major way: because it was built by seven of the largest US banks, it’s often able to integrate more seamlessly with your bank’s mobile app. While other services make you wait a few days for the money you received from friends to show up in your bank account, Zelle can transfer the money almost instantly.

For those reasons, analysts at eMarketer expect Zelle to “leapfrog” other payments services before the end of the year.

Credit Union SMB Loan Approvals Hit Record Lows (PYMNTS) Rated: A

The latest data from the monthly Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index suggests a slump in small business lending among U.S. credit unions.

press release issued on Wednesday (June 13) detailed the May Index’s latest findings, which found that large banks with more than $10 billion in assets are approving of nearly 30 percent of small business loan applications, a two-tenths of a percent increase from April levels. That figure is also a new high for post-recession big bank lending to small businesses.

Digital-only banks grapple with integrating ‘human’ interaction into their products (Tearsheet) Rated: A

Digital-only banks cater to younger customers who don’t want to talk to bankers at brick-and-mortar branches — or bother visiting a branch at all. Or so they think.

Recent customer surveys indicate otherwise, according to research findings released this month from Celent, commissioned by Samsung. It revealed that customers want some kind of human interaction for complex issues. The study found that about half of U.S. banking customers aged 18 to 44 said they banked digitally, but prefer to resolve some matters in-person. Overall, most customers surveyed preferred dealing with humans on matters like setting up financial goals or getting investment advice. To respond to fraud, a lost or stolen card, or identity theft, a majority of those surveyed across age categories preferred to phone the contact center or address it in a physical branch.

Source: Tearsheet

Real Estate Finance Is Changing, Thanks to ‘Fintech’ Startups (The Bridge) Rated: A

If your student loan debt is larger than your salary, investing in real estate might sound like a joke. But it’s doable, said Dave Conroy of the startup Meridio, a website in beta testing that lets users invest amounts of money that you might have in your wallet right now–even $20–into specific properties. Using blockchain technology keeps each transaction cost low, said Conroy, whose company is an offshoot of Bushwick-based ConsenSys, which is building myriad applications based on the Ethereum platform.

For investors, the service would reduce transactions costs and make a real-estate portfolio more liquid. For owners, it would unlock more capital and streamline transactions. While Meridio won’t provide market intelligence about properties to invest in, prospective investors can call on their own experience, says Conroy, who previously worked for the National Association of Realtors.

Why digital banking and robo advice are pairing up (Financial Planning) Rated: A

Banks and digital wealth startups are headed toward the same goal from different starting points.

Each side is increasingly seeking to package automated investment advice with checking because customers are expressing an interest in getting both services from one provider.

Fifth Third Bancorp’s securities unit teamed up with Fidelity recently to offer automated advice, while the microinvesting app Acorns rolled out a debit card called Spend and opened up 50,000 checking accounts in two days.

Wells Fargo simplifies payments pricing to compete with Square (Payments Source) Rated: A

Wells Fargo will simplify the prices it charges small businesses to accept credit and debit card transactions as the bank responds to pressure from startups such as Jack Dorsey’s Square Inc.

The changes, which are tailored for small businesses that process $100,000 a year or less, eliminate many of the complicated pricing policies that varied from client to client, according to Danny Peltz, who leads treasury management and merchant services at the company. Business customers will also be able to apply online for payment processing capabilities with Wells Fargo, Peltz said.

New Technologies and New Customer Experiences Drive Banking Today (Lend Academy) Rated: A

American Banker’s Penny Crosman sat with Cathy Bessant, Chief Operations and Technology Officer, Bank of America to discuss the bank’s use of AI.  She described how the bank has inventors all over the world in their distributed innovation model.

Peer to Peer Micro-Credit Site Puddle Shuts Down (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Puddle, an online lender that provided micro-credit in a peer to peer platform, is shutting down.

In an email circulated by the company, Puddle founders stated that after five years of operation the businesses model was “unsustainable.”

RealtyMogul, Comunidad Realty Partners Sell Dallas Area Investment Property (Herald Courier) Rated: B

RealtyMogul, a pioneer in providing private real estate to discerning investors, announced that it has sold an investment property in partnership with Comunidad Realty Partners at greater than 1.5 times its purchase price.

The property, Lodge at Main, a 208-unit multifamily apartment complex in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area was acquired in 2015.

California may force online business lenders to disclose rates (American Banker) Rated: AAA

A bill pending in California aims to tame the disorderly, confusing and largely unregulated world of online small-business lending by mandating that borrowers receive standard price disclosures.

The bill, which passed the Senate without a vote to spare and has failed to garner much support from either the online lending industry or its critics, still faces a tough fight in the state Assembly. But if the measure does get enacted in California, it could serve as a blueprint for other states.

The legislation tackles the question of whether commercial lenders should be required to disclose the price of financing in a way that enables borrowers to compare multiple offers. Just as nettlesome is the question of how any such comparison metric should be calculated.

Source: American Banker

The bill would apply to small businesses that borrow $500,000 or less.

United Kingdom

RateSetter Reports IFISA Tops £100 Million in Record Time (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

UK based peer-to-peer lender RateSetter is reporting that subscriptions to its IFISA have surpassed £100 million. This milestone took four months to reach and, according to RateSetter, faster than any other P2P lender. To date, RateSetter has originated over £2.5 billion in online loans to both businesses and individuals.  RateSetter states that more than 10,000 IFISA accounts have now been opened.  The average annual return received by investors stands at 4.4% with more than £100 million in interest having been paid.

Peer-to-peer lender Ratesetter to raise £30m as London float looms (City A.M.) Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lending business Ratesetter is working on a £30m fundraising which is expected to be a prelude to a London float.

According to Sky News Ra

tesetter is working with investment bank Lazard and broker Peel Hunt to raise £30m from investors.

The funding round would value Ratesetter at about £280m.

The fundraising is expected to be a precursor to a stock market flotation which could take place as early as next year.

THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF LENDING THROUGH FUNDING CIRCLE (Funding Circle) Rated: AAA

In the UK, where Funding Circle has been established the longest, the platform is now competing directly with banks in the small business lending market – with net lending through the platform exceeding that of the entire UK banking system for two successive quarters at the end of 2017. A survey of Funding Circle’s customers undertaken for the study suggests 89 percent of the platform’s UK small business customers would approach
Funding Circle first again in future, rather than going to a bank.

Source: Funding Circle

Read the full report here.

Funding Circle CEO on the Fintech Frenzy in Europe (Yahoo Finance) Rated: A

How the big three shaped P2P (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

ALTHOUGH we still tend to think of peer-to-peer lending as a young sector, it is now 13 years since Zopa became the first lender in the market. It was joined five years later by Funding Circle and RateSetter and since then the big three have dominated the P2P market.

Here are some of the key moments in their journeys.

London Block Exchange To Strike Deal With UK Bank (Crypto Daily) Rated: A

London Block Exchange, a UK based crypto provider is alleged to be pairing up with a new UK based bank, ClearBank.

If this news is indeed true, this will mark the first time a lender has struck a deal with a cryptocurrency-based entity.

The UK proves its tech chops, Google’s massive diversity gap and Brexit cause business tensions (Elite Business) Rated: A

Out of Europe’s 34 unicorns, the UK has produced 13. These have a combined value of $23bn, equal to 38% of the European total. This puts the UK ahead of Germany  and France, which have six and three scaleups valued over $1bn respectively. Given the nation has already spawned success stories like Deliveroo and Funding Circle, it’s hardly surprising that VC investment is also booming in the UK. Last year British startups raised $7.9bn compared to Germany’s $3.2bn and France‘s $2.8bn.

Brexit has made UK SMEs worry about talent

Having polled companies in 11 countries, researchers revealed that UK entrepreneurs were much less confident about the conscious uncoupling than those in the EU. Overall, 57% of respondents felt that their biggest challenge was that they had too little time and that they were doing everything themselves. This was double the 24% who thought hiring the right people were their biggest worry.

Alternative finance funds see mixed success (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

Over the past year, P2P Global Investments (P2PGI), VPC Specialty Lending Investments and Ranger Direct Lending (RDL) have moved away from pure P2P to boost returns and narrow their discounts, while the Funding Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF) has remained true to its roots, all with varying outcomes.

The FCIF investment trust solely backs loans originated via the Funding Circle platform and saw its net asset value (NAV) return 6.9 per cent last year, while trading on a healthy premium.

In comparison, RDL – which has recently announced its intention to close – returned 5.4 per cent, VPC – which has shifted from P2P towards balance sheet lenders – saw its NAV total return grow by 3.07 per cent, while P2PGI – which last year merged its manager MW Eaglewood with Pollen Street Capital and is focusing more on asset-backed alternative lenders – reported a NAV return of 3.03 per cent during 2017. RDL and P2PGI are both trading at double-digit discounts to NAV.

Updated Crowd2Fund app includes IFISA management tools (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: B

PEER-TO-PEER platform Crowd2Fund has relaunched its app to include Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) management features via their smartphones.

Digital Challenger Redwood Bank Raises £9.8 Million (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Redwood is targeting the SME market. Products include mortgages for business owners and professional landlords, as well as a range of savings accounts. Redwood seeks to offer British businesses fast, simple, transparent loans and savings accounts, coupled with superlative service. They also promise that money is being invested back into British business and into the communities they are a part of. Warrington Borough Council has a 33% stake in the firm that was pegged at £30 million.

BIS wants tighter rules for funds offering credit, fintech (Reuters) Rated: A

Regulations introduced after the financial crisis a decade ago to smooth out banking booms and busts should be extended to funds that provide credit, or shadow banks, and fintech firms, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said on Sunday.

The introduction of “macroprudential” policy requiring banks to build up separate “countercyclical” buffers of capital if credit markets become frothy was a core crisis-era innovation.

The buffers can be released if loans begin turning sour and maintain resilience of the financial system to shocks – a departure from the traditional “microprudential” focus on the stability of individual banks.

China

China Rapid Finance 2018 Q1 – Results – Earnings Call Slides (Seeking Alpha) Rated: AAA

Source: Seeking Alpha
Source: Seeking Alpha

Chinese P2P giant Lufax dodges valuation bullet (Nasdaq) Rated: A

Lufax is wisely trying to grow up in private. The Chinese financial technology giant, which focuses on peer-to-peer lending and wealth management, plans to raise more than $1 billion at a $40 billion valuation ahead of a delayed Hong Kong flotation, says Reuters. That makes sense. Listing now could upset Beijing, and might only be achievable at a discounted price. Abundant venture capital allows the Ping An-backed startup to keep growing without a distracting market debut.

European Union

Alior Bank, solarisBank, Raisin and Mastercard to unveil European digital bank (Fintech Futures) Rated: AAA

Poland’s Alior Bank has teamed with solarisBankRaisin and Mastercard to unleash a pan-European digital bank.

The new offering, which is planned to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2018, will be built on the “strengths of all partners”.

Alior Bank will deliver multicurrency accounts with international transfers and deposits.

solarisBank will add the banking infrastructure with its technological, compliance and regulatory framework.

Raisin through its network of partner banks, is adding various savings and investment possibilities to the offering.

N26 launches a revised metal card (Tech Crunch) Rated: A

Fintech startup N26 is updating its N26  Metal product and launching it tomorrow. You might remember that the company first announced its premium card at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin in December 2017. Shortly after the conference, the card was available in early access for existing N26 Black customers.

But the company had to go back to the drawing board and update the card design. N26 Metal customers had some complaints about the design of the card in particular.

International

Fintechs are staring down the future of banking (Financial Post) Rated: A

For instance, U.S.-based Lending Club, which has been around since 2007 and which is public, has arranged US$35 billion in consumer loans for its two million borrowers. The average loan — and it originates about US$2.4 billion a quarter — is about US$14,000.

Those themes were on full display this week in Toronto at an event organized by the KiWi Private Credit Fund, which raises capital from investors and purchases unsecured consumer loans and secured small business loans originated by established U.S.-based lending marketplaces.

“But they are not good at pricing a 9 per cent or 12 per cent risk,” he added, all of which allows entities such as his, to meet that need. It has US$27 million in assets; an average loan of almost US$14,000 and targets a return in the six- to eight-per-cent range.

Australia/New Zealand

Harmoney is to begin lending money through its own online platform (Interest) Rated: AAA

Peer to peer lending facilitator Harmoney Corp is making a number of tweaks to its operation, which will include the ability to lend its own money through its own platform.

The company has also renamed its ‘platform fee’ – recently the subject of Commerce Commission court action – as an ‘establishment fee’ and dropped the fee by $50 to $450. The company has also tweaked some of its interest rates higher (see below tables).

Harmoney will now be operating two different markets within its platform; the existing P2P facility and a new ‘wholesale market’ operated through a new subsidiary Harmoney Nominee.

Australian regulator sues Westpac for staffer’s poor financial advice (Reuters) Rated: A

An Australian regulator filed a lawsuit against No. 2 lender Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX) over a financial planner it alleges gave poor advice for years, upping its scrutiny of a sector already under fire amid an embarrassing public inquiry.

Australia’s A$5 billion ($3.7 billion) financial planning sector has provided some of the most damning evidence at an inquiry into finance sector misconduct, ordered by the government after a string of banking scandals including fraud.

P2P lender cuts rates (Good Returns) Rated: A

Peer to peer lender Lending Crowd has cut its borrower interest rates for all new business and personal loan applications including vehicle purchases and debt consolidations.

A1 grade personal borrowers will have a market leading rate of 6.89% pa and SME businesses will have rates available from 7.98%. Interest rates across all loan grades will range from a low of 6.89%
to a high of 18.96% (previously 7.90% to 19.75%).

Parents giving $ 10k towards kid’s first car (Finder) Rated: A

Survey shows 60% of parents are giving kids $10,594 to buy their first car.

According to research conducted by RateSetter, parents are stumping up $10k to get their child their first set of wheels.

RateSetter found that among parents who bought their child a car, 15% chose a new model, 71% opted for a used one and 14% donated their own vehicle. The majority of families could afford a car under $10,000, while 26% spent between $10,000 and $20,000. A lucky 12% of kids were gifted over $20,000 towards their ride. Parents in Victoria spend the most on their child, up to $13,386. In NSW, the average outlay was $10,404.

India

P2P lending companies change tack in bid to become NBFCs (Business Standard) Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending companies are changing their business model as they migrate to becoming (NBFCs).

RBI had created a special category called NBFC-P2P, in view of the proliferation of entities. While mandating Rs 20 million as minimum net worth, RBI had also imposed a Rs 1-mn cap for individual lending on such platforms.

So far, a couple of these entities have got an NBFC licence from RBI. Faircent says it got the licence about 20 days earlier.

Amazon launches lending platform for sellers (The Economic Times) Rated: AAA

Amazon India has launched a platform for lenders and sellers wherein sellers can choose from competitive rates and loan offers. It will also open its APIs to lenders to plug in and lend to the sellers as part of the new programme, called the seller lending network.

India will be the first geography for Amazon where it has launched such a seller platform.

Fiscal 2015 World Bank Lending Report highlights India as one of the biggest Loan Beneficiary (Digital Journal) Rated: AAA

Fintechs offer loans to individuals with low credit scores as well. For instance, in the case of Qbera, individuals with a minimum credit score of 600 can qualify for personal finance. This is not quite so in the case of private banks – individuals need to have a minimum credit score of 750 to be eligible.

Aye Finance Secures $ 21.5M in Series C Funding (Finsmes) Rated: A

Aye Finance, a Gurgaon, India-based provider of financial services to micro and small businesses, secured $21.5m in Series C funding.

Backers included CapitalG, SAIF Partners and LFT.

The company intends to use the funds to accelerate business growth.

P2P lending: Can India replicate the UK experience to achieve Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas? (Economic Times) Rated: A

India is still struggling with a huge credit gap that is holding back the economy. Getting a bank loan is an extremely cumbersome and long-drawn process for salaried individuals and small businesses, alike. According to a study conducted jointly by ASSOCHAM and EY, around 19% of India’s population remains unserved by the traditional banking sector.

Several million MSMEs that lack a tangible financial record are thus not eligible for credit from legacy financial institutions who still use traditional credit and financial data to evaluate eligibility. For the Indian economy to achieve the next level of growth, the current gap of nearly $200 billion in credit supply to MSMEs and significant under-banked population of India needs to be addressed immediately.

Asia

FSC reins in P2P firms (Korea Joongang Daily) Rated: AAA

In Korea, P2P firms, which directly connect borrowers with investors through online platforms, are not under the direct supervision or management of financial authorities. The Financial Services Commission (FSC) only indirectly supervises them by requiring registration of P2P firms’ lending subsidiaries, which most P2P firms use to carry out the process of lending money to borrowers.

But this safeguard also has many loopholes. TheHighOneFunding, for example, had uploaded the name of a different person as CEO when it registered its lending subsidiary with government regulators.

With more investors attracted to the idea of making easy money through high interest rates on P2P lending, the cumulative amount of loans on such platforms has dramatically increased, from 37.3 billion won in late 2015 to 3.50 trillion won as of May.

MENA

Where’s the money, honey? (Gulf News) Rated: AAA

According to the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, nearly 50 to 70 per cent of loan applications made by SMEs in the UAE are declined by traditional banks, while loans to SMEs account for around four to five per cent of the outstanding bank credit in the UAE.

Enter peer-to-peer lending.

Over the years, such platforms have become big business: In 2016, the size of the peer-to-peer lending market in the US, UK, the European Union, Australia and New Zealand was estimated to be more than $72 billion, according to AltFi. In China, loan originations in 2015 were estimated at $101 billion.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday May 15 2018, Daily News Digest

McKinsey Asia Personal Financial Services Survey Customers and Digital only Banks

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

McKinsey Asia Personal Financial Services Survey Customers and Digital only Banks

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

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

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

Financial highlights include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BuildDirect Partners With Affirm (Globe Newswire) Rated: A

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AI can do better.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

United Kingdom

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frederic Nze of Oakam (Lend Academy) Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

China

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

European Union

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

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

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

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

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

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

International

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

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

 

Source: Pitch Book

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

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

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

Source: Coin Central

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

Source: Coin Central

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Australia/New Zealand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

India

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

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

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

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

Canada

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

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

Asia

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

 

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

Source Bloomberg

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

Latin America

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

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

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

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday April 24 2018, Daily News Digest

teachers personal loans

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi is like a bank, but not a bank. Finastra’s blockchain solution for lenders is live. Linked Finance pass 50M Euro lending mark. Capital Float raises $22M from Amazon. Today’s main analysis: Cities where credit card debt has increased, decreased the most. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Fintech business lenders are evolving. Why marketplace lending needs […]

teachers personal loans

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

Other

News Summary

United States

SoFi Becomes More Like a Bank without Becoming a Bank (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

During the Cagney period, SoFi was promoted as an anti-bank solution for retail customer needs. The Fintech acquired a digital only challenger bank, Zenbanx, while initiating the process to provide banking services by applying for industrial loan charter (ILC).

A few months later, Zenbanx was shut down and eventually Cagney departed SoFi and the ILC process was halted.

Today, SoFi is pushing further into bank like services with SoFi Money, a mobile first challenger bank like platform minus the banking charter.

Cities Where Credit Card Debt Has Increased and Decreased the Most (CompareCards), Rated: AAA

The U.S. economy is in a good place, growing at a healthy rate of nearly 3% annually, and the unemployment rate is around 4%. So it’s perhaps surprising that credit card balances are growing in 20 of the 30 largest U.S. metros while declining in nine with one city unchanged.

The changes in credit card balances range from a 9% increase in Miami to a 6% drop in San Francisco.

Miami led the 30 largest metros by far with a 9% annual increase. Pittsburgh was No. 2 at a nearly 6% rise with New York and Chicago both just above 5%.

Average credit card balances range from $7,276 in Washington, D.C. to $5,114 in Riverside, Calif.

Cities with the largest average credit card balance decreases

30. San Francisco — credit card balances declined 6%.

29. Dallas — credit card balances down 5%.

28. Baltimore — credit balances drop by 5%.

Fintech business lenders evolving (Banking Exchange) Rated: AAA

While the merits of the proposed fintech national banking charter continue to be debated in Washington, online nonbank business lenders haven’t been circling in a holding pattern over Reagan National Airport.

Case in point: The business of lending isn’t lending, but getting paid back, said Andrea Gellert, chief revenue officer at OnDeck, the largest online small business lender in the U.S.

Pros and cons of alternative data

One of the criticisms of traditional credit bureaus is that they have typically relied on backward-looking, historical data. One of the elements of fintech lenders has been use of alternative indicators intended to give a glimpse of the future.

“Alternative data sources have been proven to work to predict credit,” said Luke Voiles, director at QuickBooks Capital, which lends to users of Quicken’s accounting software. (Currently the company caps loans as $50,000.) The input the firm can access provides a strong picture of how a business is doing and may be doing in the future. Gellert said that as loans grow larger, OnDeck adds in methodologies derived from behavioral economics.

Why Marketplace Lending Needs Less Transparency, Not More (PYMNTS) Rated: AAA

Marketplace lending platforms — Lending Club, OnDeck, Prosper and the like — have inarguably and fundamentally altered the geography of the lending landscape.  In the last decade, they’ve gone from being a niche product to representing about a third of unsecured consumer loan volume in the United States as of 2016, according to a recent study by Harvard Business School Professor Boris Vallée and University of Washington Professor Yao Zeng.

The really savvy investors, the study noted, aren’t merely savvy because of the knowledge they possess — but because of the technology they leverage. One popular such technology is LendingRobot’s quantitative modeling that takes in the historical data provided by the platforms and uses it to create rules of purchase — and then allows its user set it to literally auto-invest whenever it encounters a loan that meets the rules’ criteria.

Looking at a swath of loans executed by LendingRobot users between January 2014 and January 2017, with a particular focus on $120 million invested in LendingClub and Prosper during that time period, what they found is that those who used LendingRobot bought much better loans — the average default rate for LendingRobot purchases was 20 percent lower than the average default rate on the platform.

What other banks can learn from BB&T’s glitch (American Banker) Rated: A

In February, BB&T Chief Executive Kelly King took to Twitter with a video apology to thousands of irate customers after an equipment malfunction hobbled ATMs, online and mobile banking. “We are committed to making this right,” he said.

On Thursday, during the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based bank’s quarterly earnings call, King revealed the bottom-line cost of the high-profile, three-day system outage: $15 million in lost revenue and an additional $5 million in noninterest expenses tied to fee waivers and other costs.

Zelle, the Banks’ Answer to Venmo, Proves Vulnerable to Fraud (The New York Times) Rated: A

Zelle, a service that allows bank customers to instantly send money to their acquaintances, is booming. Thousands of new users sign up every day. Some $75 billion zoomed through Zelle’s network last year. That’s more than twice the amount of money that customers transferred with Venmo, a rival money-transfer app.

But the same features that make Zelle so useful for customers, its speed and ubiquity, have made it irresistible to thieves. Hackers and con artists have used the system to steal from victims — some of whom had never used Zelle or even heard of it until someone used it to clean out their bank accounts.

Steve Polsky of Juvo (Lend Academy) Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • How Steve’s diverse background as an entrepreneur helped in the launch of Juvo.
  • What Juvo does exactly and what problem they are trying to solve.
  • How Juvo is able to extend credit in tiny amounts to prepaid phone customers.
  • Who Juvo partners with to reach these people.
  • What Juvo brings to the table for the mobile operators.
  • The geographies they have focused on.
  • Why their website leads with “Identity Changes Everything”.
  • How they are verifying identity and approving these people with no credit file.
  • How the mechanics work in getting credit to these people.
  • Why the major value proposition is one of convenience.
  • How they are mitigating against fraud.
  • Why they don’t charge the consumer interest or any fees.
  • Why the big opportunity is moving people up to other financial services.
  • The scale they are at today.
  • What the partnership with Samsung means for Juvo.
  • How the information and data on these people will end up being so valuable.
  • What is next for Juvo.

Boiler Rooms Are Not Brands, Kabbage CEO Says (DeBanked) Rated: A

Speaking at LendIt Fintech 2018 Kabbage CEO Rob Frohwein talked about building a brand in the online lending space; he explained most companies think boiler rooms equal brands, he went on to say you need to spend time and money on building your company’s brand; building relationships is the key, not just credit scores and data, you need to understand what your customer wants and needs by engaging with them on a regular basis.

Only Half of Americans Feel Like Banks Can Help Their Financial Progress (Business Wire) Rated: A

When it comes to getting a loan or credit card from their bank, many Americans are not so confident. A newly released study from Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class (CNMC) found that non-prime Americans – the 2/3rds of US adults with credit scores under 700 – were significantly less likely to depend on a traditional financial institution for access to credit. Compared to individuals with prime credit scores, non-prime Americans are:

  • 4x as likely to have been denied a loan over the last year
  • 8x as likely to not use a bank
  • 6x as likely to use an online-only financial institution
  • 21% less likely to believe their financial institution has products designed for them
  • 48% less likely to believe they would be approved for a personal loan

The non-prime are often characterized by income volatility, making it all the more necessary they have access to credit. Yet, one in 12 non-prime Americans do not even use a traditional bank for their day-to-day needs. Non-prime Americans often move to an online only bank to meet this void.

Blockchain to Help Millennials Get their Foot on the Housing Ladder (CoinSpeaker) Rated: A

Representatives of the so-called millennial generation are approaching their mid-thirties, being the single largest segment of home buyers in America. This, undoubtedly, represents a huge opportunity for the mortgage industry.

Couple this with the fact that the American housing market (which currently stands at $26 trillion) is the largest asset class in the world – even bigger than the U.S. stock market – and it’s clear  that there is certainly a huge wealth of opportunity within this sector.

Teachers take out more loans than anyone else (Thinknum Media) Rated: AAA

When we solved for job titles, we discovered that teachers take out the most Lending Club loans with 47,761 loans issued. “Manager” and “Owner” follow, but as you’ll see in the chart below, teacher reappears (with a lower-case “t”) with another 8,777 loans issued.

Source Thinknum Media

This chart shows average monthly income for the teachers requesting loans. It’s widely beleived that teachers aren’t paid as well as they should be.

Source: Thinknum Media

Reasons Stellar (XLM) Bulls Will Beat The Bears (Crypto Gazette) Rated: B

Daijo is yet another decentralized P2P lending platform built atop the Stellar blockchain. The Demo version for Daijo mobile app is currently available and running, with the full version expected to be released in a couple of weeks, however QIN tokens are available for presale.

The QIN token is Daijo’s very own multi-purpose asset. QIN will be used for basically everything on the platform, from rewards, to loan requests, to repay of loans. Daijo presents a little update to existing lending platform, with this, our arms are crossed to see how Daijo and the QIN tokens would perform on the big stage.

Harvest Properties and Cerberus Capital Management Acquire DC Station in Daly City, California (Markets Insider) Rated: B

Harvest Properties, a full service commercial real estate investment, development, and management firm (“Harvest”) and an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. (“Cerberus”), a global leader in alternative investing, announced today that they have acquired DC Station, an office property located in Daly City, California. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certified project is comprised of a nine-story, multi-tenant office building totaling approximately 383,000 square feet.

Why you should search for direct lenders for online loans (Baltimore Post Examiner) Rated: B

Borrowing online has a number of major benefits, from quick approval – as the online lender can tell you more or less instantly if you’re either approved or not – to lower interest rates (if any) and easier approval because they always use alternative information to evaluate your credit worthiness. You can find information about all types of loans, but make sure you search for it in the right places. For example, expert online loan lenders like Credit Cube provide a review of all types of loans and they make sure you choose a loan that satisfies your requests. For now, let’s see what the differences between the main types of lenders are!

United Kingdom

Finastra’s Blockchain-Based Solution Fusion LenderComm Goes Live (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

UK fintech Finastra announced on Tuesday its blockchain-based solution, Fusion LenderComm, is now commercially available as an app on R3’s Corda platform for financial institutions operating in the syndicated lending market. The launch was announced at the LSTA Operations Conference in New York. Finastra reported that following a pilot, the solution is proven to streamline information exchange between agent banks and lenders, driving transparency and efficiency in the syndicated loan market. 

Fusion LenderComm is now available as a “low-cost” service for financial services institutions acting as agent banks, using Fusion Loan IQ, a syndicated loan servicing platform. However, the Fusion LenderComm platform is an open utility for all institutions involved in syndicated lending, regardless of the loan servicing software in use. 

Landbay reaches Women in Finance targets (Peer2Peer Finance News) Rated: A

LANDBAY has achieved the targets set last year as part of its commitment to the Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter.

The buy-to-let specialist has confirmed that there is now a minimum of one female representative on every interview panel. It has also drafted a formal maternity and paternity leave plan for all employees.

The peer-to-peer lender’s third target was to ensure that for any additions to executive management or the board of directors, at least one woman must be shortlisted. However, there have been no vacancies at an executive and non-executive level since this promise was made in 2017.

Assetz Capital Joins Positive Lending Panel (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

UK-based peer-to-peer lending platform Assetz Capital announced last week it has joined the panel of mortgage packager specialist Positive Lending. This news comes just days after the online lender reached a record number of loans available to investors using its Manual Lending Account (MLA), with well over 200 live loans with loan parts available for immediate investment on the secondary market.

Growth Street joins FCA Register as an Appointed Representative, launches P2P investment opportunity for individuals (Growth Street) Rated: B

Growth Street, an alternative banking service provider for SMEs, announced today that it is now listed as an Appointed Representative (AR) on the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Financial Services Register. Formerly a peer to peer (P2P) platform purely for incorporated businesses to lend and borrow from each other, this new status allows Growth Street to accept individuals as investors on the platform. By expanding the range of investors, Growth Street aspires to provide more businesses with a GrowthLine, its business overdraft alternative.

Commercial financial partnership launched (The Business Desk) Rated: B

The Business Catalyst Club has agreed a deal with commercial finance brokers ABL Business to create Business Catalyst Finance.

The partnership will provide access to a range of funding options such as commercial property finance, business loans and venture capital along with alternative finance opportunities like asset-based lending and peer-to-peer lending.

European Union

Loans from Linked Finance pass the €50m mark (Independent) Rated: AAA

Loans from Linked Finance to Irish small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have passed the €50m mark.

The milestone co-insides with the Irish peer-to-peer lending platform celebrating five years in business.

ID Finance R&D joins Eastern European tech elite at Belarus’ Hi-Tech Park (ID Finance) Rated: B

ID Finance, the emerging markets fintech company, has been accepted into the Belarus Hi-Tech Park (HTP) in Minsk as it seeks to strengthen its R&D team and take advantage of the favourable business environment on offer to technology companies.

International

 

YayProto ICO (YFN Token): Blockchain Money Transfer System? (Bitcoin Exchange Guide) Rated: A

Billions of dollars are transferred every day and people, collectively, lose out on millions in inefficient systems and high transaction fees. There is a lack of transparency and accountability in the system. Another big problem in the major global financial organizations is that more than 3.5 billion (50% of global population) are still unbanked.

A solution to these problems is a crowd-based banking system that secures its customer’s funds by blockchain technology.

Australia

Robo-advice platform Clover.com.au has entered an agreement to provide proprietary online financial advice and wealth management technology to private wealth firm, Collins House.

Clover chief executive officer and co-founder, Sahil Kaura, said the platform would algorithmically assess information provided by customers to determine if a managed discretionary account (MDA) service was appropriate on a case-by-case basis.

India

Indian lending platform Capital Float raises $ 22M Series C extension from Amazon (Tech Crunch) Rated: AAA

Capital Float, the fintech startup that says it is India’s largest online lender, announced today that it has raised $22 million in new funding from Amazon. At the end of last year, reports surfaced that Amazon was considering an investment in Capital Float as an extension of its $45 million Series C, which was announced last August. The Bangalore-based startup confirmed to TechCrunch that Amazon’s investment is indeed an extension of that round and brings the total equity it has raised over the past 12 months to $67 million.

Over the same period, Capital Float  also raised $80 million of debt from banks and other financial companies, which it combines with its own balance sheet to finance loans to small businesses and other borrowers. Amazon India is among several e-commerce platforms that the company has partnered with to provide loans to sellers, including Snapdeal and Shopclues.

Four NBFCs empowering MSME sector (The Siasat Daily) Rated: A

In this regard, here are four NBFCs that can be explored by and SME and MSME players for financial assistance:

  • Lendingkart-This is a non-deposit taking NBFC, providing SME lending in India.
  • Aye Finance-It is a commercial institution built around the mission to solve these challenges of funding MSMEs and enabling their inclusion into the mainstream of the economy.
  • Faircent-Faircent, a P2P platform has been facilitating loans for number of businesses across the country. Its tech-enabled backbone makes the entire process and hassle free.
  • InCred-It is a new-age financial services group that aspires to be the one stop shop for the customers to fund their financial needs.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday March 12 2018, Daily News Digest

Funding Circle

News Comments Today’s main news: Zopa competes with tech giants, not banks, for talent. Funding Circle to use 4 big banks to prepare for IPO. Japan tours Europe to pitch Open Banking. Lending Loop expands into corporate lending. Today’s main analysis: Preqin on the PE outlook. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Banking Amazon’s moment. How a commission-free robo-advisor plans to generate […]

Funding Circle

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

Other

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United States

Banking’s Amazon Moment (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Co-branded partnerships are not new, and banks have long partnered with retail institutions to launch co-branded credit cards. In a co-branded partnership, the financial partner deals with deposit or credit management, account servicing, and regulatory compliance, while the retail partner deals with marketing and customer acquisition. We have recently seen Barclays launch a credit card with Uber and Goldman Sachs potentially partner with Apple to finance device purchases. What is novel about this partnership is that it extends the same business model to checking accounts.

Benefits of Partnership

In the current regulatory environment, Amazon needs a partner as there is no clear regulatory swim lane for Amazon to compete head-on with the banks today. The Bank Holding Company Act demarcates commerce and banking. Partnering with JPM makes sense as it avoids Amazon having to comply with onerous banking regulations, but also makes it possible to offer products like checking accounts to its customers.

These strategic partnerships are also incredibly valuable to banks. As we pointed out in a prior newsletter, banks that do not establish a digital banking presence do not have a seat at the table. For banks, this is a battle for long-term customer relevance. Banking products are increasingly commoditized, and new generation customers want to bank with technology firms. They like the customer experience, the self-service nature, control, and value. These customers shudder at the idea of walking into a bank branch.

The customer segment that Amazon is targeting – younger generation, unbanked – generate notoriously low checking account and debit card fee-income for banks. Amazon has no legacy bank branch network, low customer acquisition cost and can make the economics work where most banks cannot. Banks also get access to a new customer acquisition channel, like Alexa where Amazon controls access and can leverage the customer data that their partner has gathered to offer better products to existing and new customers.

Significance of this Partnership

The primary motivation in the short-term is economics. Amazon pays about $250 MM in interchange fees – about 2% per transaction. Customers with an Amazon checking account can pay directly out of their checking accounts and avoid the network transaction fees. If Amazon captures even 25% of this opportunity, and adds $50 Mn to its bottom line, it would be accretive to its market capitalization by ~$10 Bn.

Amazon’s banking footprint today consists of its Visa Signature Rewards credit card issued by Chase, and Amazon Lending, a small business lender that has made ~$3 Bn in loans. It is conceivable that once Amazon’s customers sign up for a checking account, Amazon could sell them a variety of financial products like insurance and investment advice. Bain estimates that Amazon could establish a retail financial relationship with 70 Mn US customers, similar to that of Wells-Fargo.

Who might follow Amazon?

Source: PeerIQ

Amazon hiring head of newly-formed mortgage lending division (Housing Wire), Rated: A

While limited in scope, Amazon’s plans are to start with offering checking programs first, then maybe move into the debt product space after.

Well, after reporting that, we’ve received information that Amazon is currently looking to hire someone to lead their newly-formed mortgage lending division.

Due to non-disclosure agreements, we probably shouldn’t reveal their identities. After all, with Amazon planning a move into mortgage lending, it’s best we work with them and not against them. Am I right?

We can say that if you look at the top 10 HMDA lenders and pick out the nonbanks, that’s where Amazon is recruiting their talent.

How a commission-free robo-adviser plans to generate revenue (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

Digital investment startup M1 Finance is making a big bet that no fees are the future.

The Chicago-based company, which launched its platform two years ago, decided to drop its assets under management fees to zero in December.

Investment companies can make as much as 70 percent of revenue from services that don’t involve charging customers commission, like lending and transaction fees for third parties, according to its CEO, Brian Barnes.

Source: Tearsheet

Instead of subscriptions, Barnes added that revenue from other services is more than enough to sustain a profitable business: lending to banks based on the securities it holds, interest from loans to customers who borrow from M1 using their portfolio as collateral, and transaction fees paid to the company from exchanges. While it’s free to use the platform and execute trades, M1 charges customers other miscellaneous fees for services like paper statements, transferring an account to another brokerage, and wire transfers.

THE TIPPING POINT FOR ALTERNATIVE DATA (All About Alpha), Rated: AAA

The term “alternative data” as Deloitte uses it refers to any set or sets of data that may be useful for investors but that is outside their traditional/conventional frame of reference.  In this age of “big data” that frame is going to have to expand, and the use of (say) communications metadata or satellite imagery, which might still be innovative this week, might be quite common next week, and a bare necessity for survival the week after that.

The traditional model for data analytics by IM firms (however ‘alternative’ they may be in their assets or strategies) involves as the paper puts it “structured data sets acquired from various information providers” that are then “aggregated and loaded into proprietary quantitative models.”

But the sometimes unstructured data sets on which investment managers will hereafter be expected to draw are large, heterogeneous, and would have to be processed at an extremely fast rate to be of any use. This requires machine learning and cognitive computing for the analytics.

In 2016, big data analytics (BDA) solution vendors received $3.2 billion from securities and investment services (S&IS) firms. About 15% of that (close to half a billion) originated from technologies that at least potentially support the generation of alpha.

How banks are promoting Zelle (Tearsheet), Rated: A

How banks promote Zelle is about more than television ad campaigns.

This year Chase and Wells Fargo have launched 15- and 30-second commercials advertising Zelle, the peer-to-peer payments offering built right into banks’ mobile apps. Zelle itself has even launched a couple of spots, one featuring Hamilton star Daveed Diggs.

Smaller banks that can’t afford national commercials, however, will need to promote Zelle in their existing products, their mobile banking apps, and perhaps take a page from fintech startups’ marketing playbook and design their apps in such a way that the product does the selling for them. That’s according to a new report by Javelin Strategy on Zelle’s rollout; that it emphasizes within its own mobile banking experience that a product called Zelle exists and communicates the benefits of using it and the reasons its better than competitors like Venmo or Square Cash.

Only 25 percent convey that Zelle is free or that it only requires an email or cell phone number, and only 38 percent convey that users can send it to anyone with a U.S. bank account, even if they bank at a different institution than the sender.

However, within those mobile apps, banks are positioning Zelle a little more prominently. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and USAA are all examples of different banks that have chosen to show customers they can send money with Zelle. Bank of America more clearly shows users they also have the options to split or request money. Chase has chosen to rebrand its existing peer-to-peer payment service, Chase Quick Pay, by adding the Zelle name at the end of it and offering customers the option to “QuickPay with Zelle.” SunTrust has changed platforms entirely from PopMoney to Zelle.

LESS ACTIVE ROLE IN FINANCIAL LIVES LEAVES WOMEN MAKING LESS, SACRIFICING MORE (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

A recent study of college-educated Americans found that more than half (54%) of adults don’t think they will ever make enough money to reach their financial goals. Findings released today by national online lender Laurel Road reveal the factors fueling this pessimism, which is significantly higher in women than in men. Millennial women (64%) are significantly more stressed than their male peers (47%) about their finances, and they report starting salaries that fall more than $10,000 lower than millennial men’s, on average ($29,403 vs. $39,839).

Fiscally confident millennial male grads (94%) were significantly more likely than their female counterparts (79%) to prioritize their future earning potential over personal passions when picking a major. Of those without a degree in finance, 88% of male millennials report taking personal or business finance courses while in college, compared to only 54% of female millennials. Meanwhile, nearly one-fourth (24%) of women completed an unpaid internship, compared to just 12% of men.

Millennial women (35%) are more than three times as likely as their male peers (11%) to not have completely understood their financing options when applying to college. These stark differences have a clear trickle-down effect post-graduation. More than half of women (57%) have had to decrease nonessential spending to save money since graduation, compared to just 35% of their male peers.

76% of college-educated adults aren’t completely confident they thoroughly understood their financing options to pay for college. Accordingly, more than half (55%) of Americans with student loans report that it took them longer than expected to pay them off – and for millennials, that number rises to 66%.

However, readjusting interest rates through options like refinancing can ease the burden. But it seems Americans might not be fully aware of this option, as only about one-third (34%) of college-educated adults who have taken out student loans have refinanced their student loans. Despite having less student loan debt, millennial men (62%) are taking advantage of refinancing benefits to a far greater degree than women (39%).

Additional findings include:

Advice adverse: Just more than half (57%) of college graduates have asked for financial advice, and only 16% do so on a monthly basis.

Overlooking the basics: Surprisingly, many college-educated Americans still haven’t taken some of the most basic steps to ensuring a healthy, long-term financial plan, including:

  • 83% have not taken a personal finance course or seminar outside of college classes
  • 62% have not negotiated a higher salary at a job
  • 37% have not begun investing in a retirement account

Persisting pessimism: Nearly 2 in 3 (66%) grads are not fully confident they know the steps required to finance a home. While millennial men (42%) are more likely than their female peers (29%) to feel completely confident they know the steps required to finance a home, it seems a solid financial foundation early on is key to building a comfortable future later on down the road.

Are HNW Investors Ready for Real Estate Crowdfunding Platforms? (National Real Estate Investor), Rated: A

Cecilio is founder and CEO of San Diego-based DiversyFund Inc., which bills itself as a “vertically-integrated real estate crowdfunding platform.” Rather than acting as a middleman, DiversyFund manages all of its real estate projects from start to finish.

Accredited investors put money directly into development of commercial and residential real estate projects in Southern California, such as a multifamily development in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood. Investors can place as little as $5,000 in one of DiversyFund’s deals. Today, DiversyFund claims over 30,000 investors and more than $100 million in assets under management.

For now, an accredited investor must either make at least $200,000 a month or have a net worth of at least $1 million. But DiversyFund plans to open up its online platform this spring to non-accredited investors who can put as little as $500 into a project, Cecilio says.

NY Wealth Manager to Issue Loans Against Bitcoin (CoinDesk), Rated: A

With all the ICOs that have taken place (not to mention the meteoric rise in the value of crypto assets late last year), there are a lot of entrepreneurs who fit this description, but few products that allow them to turn long-term HODLing into actionable capital.

That’s the idea behind a new subsidiary being started by Dominion Capital, a family office based in New York City. While the company has long invested in a variety of assets, Dominion’s known for helping to finance projects by backing loans.

For the entrepreneurs who are willing to bet on the strength of their holdings, there’s a strategic opportunity at play. Essentially, the service would allow individuals and projects to borrow against either their own crypto assets (or those invested by supporters) rather than converting them directly to cash.

Restaurants Outpace Other Industries Investing In Mobile Technologies in 2018 (Modern Restaurant Management), Rated: B

The new findings show an overwhelming focus on mobile technologies, with 63 percent planning to invest; a well-advised investment given nearly 85 percent of all mobile users searching for a restaurant go on to make a purchase. The total average across all industries is 51 percent. In fact, restuarants and bars are among the most bullish to invest in mobile, trumped only by accounting services (70 percent) and marketing agencies (67 percent).

What’s more, nearly in one in four (23 percent) plan to invest in real-time analytics or big data solutions, to help analyze and identify growth opportunities.  This is an emerging opportunity for all small businesses as insights, typically available only to large corporations, are becoming increasingly more available.

U.S. Treasury Official Previews Report on FinTech Regulation (The National Law Review), Rated: B

Craig Phillips, Counselor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury), recently delivered remarks at a conference held by the Institute of International Bankers in which he previewed the upcoming Treasury report about possible reforms to the laws and regulations that apply to non-bank financial institutions and FinTech companies.

Mr. Phillips reportedly signaled that the report will include a review of the regulations governing mortgage originators and servicers, marketplace lenders, payment processors and other FinTech companies, and will also cover the “regulatory asymmetries” between such institutions and more regulated institutions.

Pennsylvania judge partially dismisses action against investors of an online lending scheme (Lexology), Rated: B

On January 26, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania partially dismissed an action brought by the Pennsylvania Attorney General against out-of-state investors of an online payday lender and the lender for violating Pennsylvania’s Corrupt Organizations Act (COA). The Attorney General alleged that an online payday lender and the investors “designed, implemented, and profited from a consumer lending scheme to circumvent the usury laws of states.” The alleged conduct, which the court referred to generally as “rent-a-bank” and “rent-a-tribe” schemes, involved the online lender partnering with an out-of-state bank and later with tribal nation to act as the nominal lenders of the loans.

Alabama Senate OKs bill to cap payday lending interest rates (Tuscaloosa News), Rated: B

Payday lending customers would have longer to repay their loan under a bill approved Thursday by the Alabama Senate, which marks the latest attempt to cap the interest rates charged with the short term loans.

The bill by Republican Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur would give borrowers 30 days to repay a loan instead of as little as 10 days. Orr said the change would give people a better opportunity to pay off the loan. Senators approved the bill on a 20-4 vote.

Square’s Cash app now supports direct deposits for your paycheck (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Case in point, the app just rolled out support for ACH direct deposits, meaning users can now get their paycheck or other deposits put directly into their Cash app balance.

Like other features in the peer-to-peer payments app setting up direct deposits is almost too simple. After accepting a disclosure you’re given an account number and routing number, which is all an employer needs to start making direct deposits. Users get a notification when deposits hit their account, and all funds get added to their normal Cash app balance – meaning it can be sent to a friend, spent using a debit card, used to buy bitcoin or withdrawn to another account.

This feature combined with the Cash app’s debit card now means that the app can essentially provide all the basic functions of a bank account, assuming you don’t need to deposit checks or do complex things like wire transfers.

United Kingdom

Zopa is competing with tech giants not banks for talent, says CEO (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA is competing with Google and Facebook for talent, not the likes of HSBC, the peer-to-peer lenders’ chief executive Jaidev Janardana (pictured) has said.

Funding Circle Picks Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley for IPO (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Funding Circle Ltd., the biggest online loan provider in Britain, named Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Numis Corp. Plc to help manage its initial public offering, according to a person familiar with the deal, in a milestone for U.K. fintech.

The offering in London, planned for the second or third quarter, will probably value the eight-year-old company at between 1.5 billion pounds ($2.1 billion) and 2 billion pounds, according to the person, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. That would make it the biggest IPO by a British financial-technology startup.

Funding Circle has arranged more than 4 billion pounds in loans for small and medium-sized companies in the U.K., the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands.

 

Source: Funding Circle and Bloomberg

 

Funding Circle co-founder joins crypto-lending platform as advisor (AltFi), Rated: A

Andrew Mullinger’s LinkedIn profile reads: “currently semi-retired until I get bored”. The Funding Circle co-founder stepped back from the firm in May 2016. He has now joined a very different kind of online lender.

Lendingblock, an open exchange for cryptocurrency loans, today announced that Mullinger has joined the company as an advisor.

Augmentum Fintech raises £94m in IPO (Fine Extra), Rated A

Fintech venture firm Augmentum has raised £94 million in an initial public offering ahead of a listing on the London Stock Exchange.

Set up by venture group Augmentum Capital, Augmentum Fintech is raising the money for a new fund investing in early-stage financial technology companies in the UK and wider Europe.

The new company is acquiring Augmentum’s existing investments in a portfolio of five fintech firms, including Seedrs, Zopa, Interactive Investor, BullionVault and SRL Global.

In a rare meeting of the public and private markets, crowdfunding platform Seedrs was itself used to raise more than £500,000 towards the IPO. The management team and family members have provided £2 million in capital.

BBVA and Visa-backed banking platform solarisBank scores €56.6m in Series B raise (AltFiNews), Rated: B

solarisBank, the first banking platform to be fully regulated by the FCA with a banking license, has successfully completed a Series B investment round, gaining another €56.6m in funding. Current investors Arvato Financial Solutions and SBI Group renewed their stakes, with BBVA, Visa, Lakestar and ABN AMRO’s Digital Impact Fund (DIF) joining them.

 

China

Review: The flimsy finances behind China’s miracle (Nasdaq), Rated: AAA

Since the financial crisis of 2008, China’s economic growth has depended less on exports than on rising levels of domestic investment. Capital spending is mostly directed at construction, which directly accounts for some 20 percent of China’s gross domestic product and indirectly for much more. The long construction boom has produced dozens of ghost cities – McMahon counts 50 in all – filled with empty apartment blocks. Mighty skyscrapers have sprouted up in unlikely provincial backwaters.

Increasing property supply has been accompanied by rising prices. Sky-high valuations have priced many Chinese workers out of the market, creating a nation of “mortgage slaves” and “ant tribes” – graduates forced to live in cheap properties in urban peripheries. In some super-hot markets like the southern city of Shenzhen, the price of land has exceeded the value of the properties built on it, giving rise to the expression “flour more expensive than bread.”

If China’s economy is fuelled by construction, it’s no secret what keeps the cranes swinging and the bulldozers revving. The country has been on a credit binge ever since Beijing announced the “Great Stimulus” late in 2008.

Last China P2P Company Delists Domestically, foreseeing New Tide of Listings Abroad (PRNewswire), Rated: A

China-based Jiayin Fintech, parent company to Niwodai, one of chinese largest P2P lending companies, applied delisting from National Equities Exchange and Quotations (NEEQ) in China on 7 March.

Jiayin Fintech’s main business is offering micro-finance services solution, among which, the part accounting for the largest income is tying qualified individual borrowing needs with the investing demands through Niwodai platform. So this delisting may indicate some trends of P2P industry, according to media in China.

Chinese peer-to-peer lender Golden Bull decreases proposed US IPO deal size to million (Nasdaq), Rated: A

The Shanghai, China-based company now plans to raise $7 million by offering 1.6 million shares at a price range of $4.00 to $4.50. The company had previously filed to offer 2 million shares at the same range. At the midpoint of the revised range, Golden Bull will raise -23% less in proceeds than previously anticipated.

 

International

PREQIN ON THE PE OUTLOOK (All About Alpha), Rated: AAA

Preqin has issued a report on the near term outlook for private equity based on a recent (November 2017) survey of more than 350 PE firms around the globe.

Although this isn’t new, the worries about high valuations for portfolio companies have been a factor for years now; such worries are getting more intense over time. In November 2016, 36% of respondents said pricing for portfolio companies had gotten higher over the preceding year. In November 2017, 58% said the same thing.

A majority (56%) of fund managers plan to make more exits in 2018 than they did in 2017, though only 8% said that will be “significantly” more.

Australia

Fintech Australia begins hunt for new CEO as Danielle Szetho steps down (IT Brief), Rated: A

Fintech Australia’s Danielle Szetho is stepping down from her position as CEO after nearly two years in the role.

The organisation has already begun the search for its new lead executive while appointing Sarah Worboys as interim CEO.

 

Asia

Open Banking Provides Perfect Environment for FinTech Integration in Japan (PRNewswire), Rated: AAA

With a rapidly changing, quality business environment, the Government of Japan has launched a series of events across Europe to inform and promote active discussions around the future opportunities in Japan’s lucrative and intelligent market.

On February 19, a Japan You Didnt Know roundtable event kicked off in London at the office of global management consulting firm, A.T. Kearney. Discussions at the event focused on the impact of the new wave of finance, technology, consumerization and personalization sweeping Japan, and how the country is adapting its policy and regulatory framework to welcome foreign investors to deliver predictable conditions for accelerated growth.

Japan boasts the world’s third largest economy and has seen eight straight quarters of stable macroeconomic growth. Driven by a transformation of the market by means of bedrock deregulation and international trade deals, Japan is designing an efficient and productive environment that welcomes foreign business for the coming opportunities in financial services.

Canada

 

P2P PLATFORM LENDING LOOP NOW OFFERING CORPORATE LENDING (Beta Kit), Rated: AAA

Toronto-based Lending Loop, which provides a peer-to-peer lending platform for small business loans, is now allowing corporations to invest in small business loans through its online platform.

The launch of corporate lending is expected to expand small business’ ability to access fast financing, while enabling more lenders to earn attractive returns. To date, Lending Loop says it has facilitated over $17.5 million in loans to businesses across Canada.

Som Seif’s Purpose Financial to acquire fintech lender Thinking Capital (BNN), Rated: A

Canadian ETF pioneer Som Seif’s Purpose Financial announced Friday it is acquiring Montreal-based Thinking Capital, an online lender to small businesses, for an undisclosed amount of cash and securities.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday February 21 2018, Daily News Digest

LendingClub originations by funding source

News Comments Today’s main news: Lending Club losses extend to Q4 2017. LendingClub to settle lawsuit for $125M. Groundfloor launches online public offering. Even Financial gets backing from American Express. LendInvest launches buy-to-let calculator online. Today’s main analysis: Lend Academy reviews LendingClub’s Q4 2017 results. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Equity sharing and home ownership. How millennials move emerging markets. Why Australia needs […]

LendingClub originations by funding source

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Lending Club extends losses for fourth straight year (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Lending Club lost money for a fourth year in a row last year, as it wrote a big cheque to settle class-action lawsuits connected to its governance glitches of 2016.

The San Francisco-based company, the biggest listed online lender in America, said on Tuesday that net losses for the fourth quarter almost tripled from a year earlier, to $92m, as it agreed a $125m settlement to resolve civil suits stemming from the loan-mis-selling scandal that blew up almost two years ago. About $48m of the sum would be covered by insurance, the company said, with the remainder to be paid from liquid assets of about $650m.

The loss for the full year came to $154m, wider than the previous year’s $146m.

LendingClub agrees to settle shareholder litigation for 5M (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Under the agreement, which was announced Tuesday, the San Francisco-based online lender expects to pay $77.25 million. An additional $47.75 million is expected to be covered by LendingClub’s insurance, bringing the total payout to $125 million. The deal is subject to court approval.

LendingClub Corp (LC) Shares Sink on Q4 Earnings Miss (InvestorPlace), Rated: A

Lending Club also underwhelmed in its revenue as the company raked in $156.5 million during its fourth quarter, below Wall Street’s consensus estimate of $157.6 million, according to FactSet. The figure did increase 20% compared to the year-ago quarter.

On an adjusted basis, the company posted earnings of a penny per share, compared to a loss of 2 cents in the year-ago quarter.

The company also experienced a 23% annual growth in originations, which reached over $2.4 billion.

LendingClub Q4 2017 Earnings Results Review (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

LendingClub delivered another record quarter of $156.5 million in revenue up slightly from their previous quarter. Originations were slightly down from the third quarter at $2.436 billion. They reported a GAAP net loss of $92.1 million in the fourth quarter which was affected by the class action litigation settlement expense.

Source: Lend Academy
Source: Lend Academy

LendingClub provided the below guidance for Q1 2018 and reaffirmed their guidance for 2018:

First Quarter 2018

  • Total Net Revenue in the range of $145 million to $155 million
  • Net Income (Loss) in the range of $(25) million to $(20) million
  • Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $5 million to $10 million
  • Reconciling Items between net loss and non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA consisting of stock-based compensation of approximately $19 million, and depreciation and amortization and other net adjustments of approximately $11 million

Full Year 2018

  • Total Net Revenue in the range of $680 million to $705 million
  • Net Income (Loss) in the range of $(53) million to $(38) million
  • Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $75 million to $90 million
  • Reconciling Items between net loss and non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA consisting of stock-based compensation of approximately $77 million, and depreciation and amortization and other net adjustments of approximately $51 million

Stocks making the biggest moves after hours (CNBC), Rated: B

LendingClub stock plunged 10 percent after the bell. The peer-to-peer lending company reported earnings and revenues that missed Wall Street estimates.

Groundfloor Launches Online Public Offering Amidst Increased Stock Market Volatility (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Groundfloor, the first issuer qualified by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission to offer real estate based payment dependent notes that are available to non-accredited investors, today announced that it has raised a total of $4.3 million from 687 participating investors in a combination of two recent financings, a private online bridge note closed late last year and an initial closing of its online public offering of equity. In each case, the company kicked off the invitation-only raises to customers and friends of the company with a $1M target, surpassing that in under 48 hours. Due to increased growth opportunities and strong demand, the company has today expanded the equity raise to the public.

Groundfloor is offering a total of up to 530,000 shares of Common Stock at $10 per share in its online public offering. Investor benefits include: no investor fees for life2; access to regular shareholder-only loan offerings; and invitations to attend annual Groundfloor shareholder events.

Recently increased expectations that the Fed may raise interest rates in the future has investors rebalancing their portfolios, with a shift out of equity into debt, as bond yields are expected to increase. Twelve-month bond yields have recently inched up to 1.97 percent.

By comparison, Groundfloor investors have earned an average of 13.6 percent per year over the past three years, which represents over 6x the yield of a current one year Treasury note, and over 1,000 percent more than they would have made if their money had been in a CD or savings account over this period.1 Groundfloor’s retail investors create their own portfolios of real estate debt investments in the fix and flip residential housing market, and the loans on which the investments are based are secured by a first lien position against the underlying real asset.

Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding: A New Investment Opportunity for the Investors (EIN News), Rated: A

Talking in context of real estate, there are 3 ways to invest in a crowdfunded real-estate property:

• Equity crowdfunding
• Syndicated debt crowdfunding
• Platform-issued (‘pre-filled’) debt crowdfunding

Following are the pros and cons of going for equity crowdfunding in real estate:

Pros

• High yield potential
• Lower barrier to entry: Even if you have a very less amount of money, you can still invest even in large commercial real estate projects through equity crowdfunding and enjoy the benefits of the real estate i.e., strong returns and lower volatility.
• No self-employment taxes
• Higher returns

Cons

• The risks. An investor should know how to evaluate the risk factors like local economy volatility and chances of higher than expected construction costs. Due diligence is what is required.
• Liquidity constraint: These investments need to be held up for a period of five years or so, and hence one should go for this option if this much bandwidth is available, lack of liquidity is not there, and an investor is comfortable with the invested amount to be tied up for several years.
• It’s still an early option: It is still an early option to be considered as the performance track record and validation is still not complete and individual investors are still trying to figure it out.
• Lack of control: Since it is a passive investment, the investors are not involved in the day to day activities and therefore have limited ability and control over the operations required.

RealyInvest App Empowers Beginners to Invest in Commercial Real Estate (PR Newswire), Rated: A

In a rising tide of fintech apps, RealyInvest is emerging as a new way for beginning investors to access the high-priced world of premier commercial real estate right from their smartphones.

RealyInvestors can purchase fractional shares of REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) for as little as $5. Investors can also own shares of commercial real estate NNN Assets, such as a building long-term leased to Starbucks, for as little as $20.

All investments, rental income and dividend earnings can be managed right on your smartphone. Fees range from $1 to $3 per month, depending on investment options.

Silicon Valley Explores a New Investment: Your Home (WSJ), Rated: AAA

A handful of companies, including those backed by marquee Silicon Valley names such as Andreessen Horowitz and Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropic organization, are experimenting with a product that essentially lets them take an ownership position in a house along with the homeowner. The agreements, called shared-equity contracts, provide a new way for investors to get exposure to rising home prices across the U.S.

Shared-equity products are aimed at new buyers who need help with a down payment, or current homeowners looking for an alternative to a cash-out mortgage refinancing or a home-equity loan. The first use has caught the attention of mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac ,which recently agreed to buy loans on properties where one firm,Unison Agreement Corp. , contributes to the down payment.

Landed Inc. offers these down-payment contracts to teachers and other educators. Last year, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative , a philanthropy co-founded by Facebook Inc.’s chief executive, gave Landed $5 million to start a new fund.

The length of the contracts can vary from a few years to 30. Homeowners can repay early, including if they sell their house before the term ends. How much they end up owing depends on how the value of their home changes. Because the funds are equity, not a borrowing, they don’t require monthly payments.

Even Financial inks $ 3 mln (PE Hub Network), Rated: AAA

Even Financial, the technology platform powering financial services online, has secured a strategic investment round totaling $3 million. The round includes an investment from American Express Ventures, the strategic investment unit of American Express, as well as Plug & Play and Arab Angels.

With this investment, Even Financial will expand its team and advance its proprietary technology, which allows financial institutions and other partners to scale customer acquisition and remain competitive in the growing online financial services industry.

Fundrise Reports 2017 Performance. Total Return for the Year Stands at 11.44% (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

In brief, this is what Fundrise reported;

“In 2017, Fundrise investments earned an 11.44%* total return on investment, including over $16 million in dividends paid out to investors. Delivering attractive, consistent cash flow is a core part of our mission to offer you a better way to invest.”

Online SMB lending platform Yalber closes $ 20M senior credit facility (Bankless Times), Rated: A

SMB lending platform Yalber closed a $20 million senior credit facility this week, the company announced today.

Blinker Joins With Ally To Enhance The Auto Industry’s Only Peer-To-Peer E-Commerce Platform (PR Newswire), Rated: A

South by Southwest Interactive Innovation Award winner and 2018 LendIt Fintech Industry Award finalist Blinker, the only peer-to-peer e-commerce platform that provides an end-to-end solution for anyone buying, selling or financing cars, announced two major milestones for its business today:

  • Blinker is now available in the largest car markets in the US – Beginning today, Blinker is expanding its proprietary e-commerce and loan origination platform from Texas and Colorado to California and Florida, allowing millions of customers to buy, sell and finance vehicles easier, quicker and safer with other people. Thirty percent of vehicle sales across the US every year are between people, yet private-party marketplaces including Craigslist, Letgo, Autotrader, Cars.com and Facebook Marketplace don’t have services such as integrated financing or lien payoff support. Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning, Blinker customers get guidance and tools to complete the entire purchase process themselves, from instant vehicle valuation to real-time auto loan approval to e-signing documents to secure funds transfer, all for free within Blinker’s mobile app.
  • Blinker joins with Ally to offer best-in-class auto protection products – Blinker will now give customers the option to add Ally’s vehicle protection coverage, including Ally Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) and Ally Premier Protection vehicle service contracts, for their vehicle purchases in the app. GAP covers the difference between the cash value of a vehicle and what Blinker customers still owe on their loan if the vehicle is totaled or stolen. Ally vehicle service contracts cover the repair cost for over 7,400 mechanical, electrical, safety or digital components, as well as some related expenses like trip interruption, rental car coverage, towing and 24/7 roadside assistance.

Zelle users are finding out the hard way there’s no fraud protection (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Scammers have taken to Zelle, the Venmo alternative backed by U.S. banks, to defraud consumers who believe the service includes the same protections they’ve come to expect from PayPal. A number of customers report having lost hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, over Zelle, when they used it for transactions with people they didn’t know – like tickets bought off a Craigslist posting, for example.

Cyberattacks took $ 56B from U.S. economy in ’16 (American Banker), Rated: A

Malicious cyber activity cost the U.S. economy between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016, the White House said Friday.

The estimate comes in a Council of Economic Advisers report on the impact of cyberattacks on U.S. government and industry. The report details the range of threats that U.S. entities face from actors including corporations and countries such as Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

The council’s estimate represents between 0.31% and 0.58% of the 2016 U.S. gross domestic product. For comparison, the report cites a Center for Strategic and International Studies report that estimated the cost of malicious cyber activities against U.S. entities at $107 billion in 2013, 0.64% of GDP that year.

BlockFi Raises 1.55M in Seed Funding (Finsmes), Rated: A

BlockFi, a New York-based fintech company whose first product is a loan for cryptoasset owners, raised $1.55m in seed funding.

Backers included ConsenSys Ventures, Kenetic Capital, PJC, SoFi, Purple Arch Ventures and Lumenary.

The 2018 World’s Most Innovative Companies (Fast Company), Rated: A

03 Square

For extending the benefits of banking

19 Social Capital

For putting values into its ventures

26 Kakao Bank

For marrying social messaging with banking

31 Paytm

For pioneering the cashless economy

42 Stripe

For writing the new startup manual

47 CommonBond

For offering payback

‘Pinterest will get even bigger for us’ says fintech lender Elevate Credit (The Drum), Rated: A

Speaking to The Drum in the final instalment of a four-part video series with Falcon.io exploring social media strategies, she admitted that while it can be a challenge, using data to understand her audience’s wants and needs has helped her shape content which is likely to resonate.

Fox says she has been finding success on the unlikeliest of social media platforms – Pinterest.

“All our content is more lifestyle focused than finance focused,” she explained.

OpenClose Bolsters Software Integration and Support Teams (Send2Press), Rated: B

OpenClose, an industry-leading multi-channel loan origination system (LOS) and mortgage fintech provider, announced that it has added staff to its integration and customer support departments. The new hires will help enhance OpenClose’s existing software products, facilitate digital mortgage processes, produce fintech-level innovation and provide excellence in customer support. The company also recently added three senior software engineers to its development team.

3 Loans for Students You Should Avoid Like the Plague (Student Loan Hero), Rated: B

1. Payday loans

You usually have only a couple of weeks to repay the loan, and the typical APR is almost 400.00%, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If you can’t pay it back and have to take out a new payday loan to pay off the first, you could end up stuck in a vicious cycle of predatory debt.

What you should try instead: payday alternative loan (PAL).

2. Auto title loans

The reality is these short-term loans also have three-digit APRs, and you typically have between 15 and 30 days to repay the loan.

What you should try instead: A short-term campus loan.

$20 / $2,000 = 1%
1% x 365 days = 3.65
3.65 / 60 = 6.08% APR

3. Cash advances

This type of loan isn’t as costly as a payday loan or an auto title loan, but it’s not ideal for two reasons:

  1. Credit cards charge a fee, typically 5% of the advance amount. So, if you withdraw $500, you’ll have to pay $25 upfront.
  2. There’s no grace period with cash advances, so interest starts accruing immediately.

What you should try instead: A 0% APR promotion. Some credit cards offer a 0% APR promotion on new purchases for a period.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle to launch two new mobile apps this year (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

The business lender, which currently only has an iPhone app for investors to access, monitor and manage their accounts, is now advertising for a global mobile apps product manager and for an Android developer.

Both positions are based in the UK.

“We have an ambitious roadmap for this year and want to launch two new apps (Android and iOS) for our investors,” the job advert on the Funding Circle website said.

LendInvest Announces Launch of Buy-to-Let Online Calculator for Intermediaries (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On Tuesday, LendInvest announced the launch of its new buy-to-let (BTL) online calculator for intermediaries.

 

P2P business lending up 51% (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

The value of P2P business lending grew by 51% during 2017, according to new research from the British Business Bank (BBB).

The report also found that the value of SME asset finance deals was up 12%.

Although net bank lending volumes remained positive (£700m in 2017), it was weaker than in both 2016 (£3bn) and 2015 (£2bn).

The BBB found that there had been a significant increase in both the value and number of SME equity deals, up 79% and 12% respectively.

Online lenders and banks may operate as ‘joint ventures’ (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

ONLINE lending platforms may partner with banks to fund and market credit products in the future, even sharing the approval process and compliance, in one scenario outlined by global banking regulators.

A number of peer-to-peer lenders have already partnered with banks on a smaller scale. For example, Metro Bank has lent through Zopa’s platform and Santander has referred borrowers to Funding Circle. However, these tie-ups have not gone as far as the report’s scenario suggests in terms of becoming a joint venture.

Crowdfund sites ‘are not explaining the dangers’ (The Times), Rated: A

Square Pie, which started life as a stall in London’s Old Spitalfields Market, expanded with the help of a “pie bond” that promised 8% annual interest over four years. The bond was offered through one of Britain’s biggest crowdfunding platforms, Crowdcube.

A total of 324 investors signed up, lending more than £650,000 to fund Square Pie restaurants and its efforts to improve supermarket sales. Square Pie has gone into administration — the first failure of a business that issued a mini bond on a crowdfunding site.…

Crypto lending platform nears launch (AltFi), Rated: A

Lendingblock is one such business. The soon-to-launch platform is, in its founder Steve Swain’s words, “an open exchange for cryptocurrency loans”.

Lendingblock is in the middle of a three-stage Initial Coin Offering that will conclude in March. The first phase has already been completed, raising the equivalent of $500,000. The offering has a hard cap of $10m.

Number of farming building conversions falls 20 percent in a year (FarmingUK), Rated: B

The number of conversions of farm buildings into new homes dropped 20% in the last year, denting hopes that these conversions could help solve the rural housing crisis.

According to Lendy, one of Europe’s largest peer-to-peer lending platforms, only 1,511 agricultural-to-residential conversion applications were approved in 2016/17.

China

The New Year to Bring a New Flood of IPOs (CapitalWatch), Rated: A

Golden Bull Ltd., an online peer-to-peer lending platform in China, plans to offer up to $9 million in shares on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “DNJR.” The Shanghai-based company, which was founded in 2015, provides borrowers access to short-term loans.
European Union

Finnest Expands Online Financing to Larger Corporations, Adds Institutional Investors (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Finnest is an interesting online lender operating in the DACH countries. The peer to peer platform was launched to provide SME funding supported by individual investors but the company is now expanding by providing loans of €10 million and higher. Institutional investors such as insurance companies, funds, family offices and banks will now be able to invest in large SMEs on “FinnestPro.”

Why it’s OK that the majority of consumers don’t know about Open Banking – for now (AltFi), Rated: A

The new EU legislation on payment services – PSD2 – and the introduction of Open Banking in the UK seem to have passed the vast majority of people in the country by, according to an AltFi News article last month.

This referred to a report by Which saying that 92 per cent of consumers hadn’t even heard of Open Banking.

International

How Millennials are Moving Emerging Markets (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

Millennials in advanced economies have come under pressure in recent years, thanks to stagnating wages, rising house prices and escalating student debt. But an altogether different trend is taking place in many emerging markets where millennials are seeing their prospects rapidly improve. This in turn is creating an investment opportunity, as millennials in these countries are becoming hugely influential on the prospects for emerging market equities.

Millennials will account for half of the global workforce by 2020, meaning they will be one of the most influential groups in shaping the economy and society, including consumption habits, policy and how companies may want to market and brand themselves. They are disrupting traditional industries and companies are having to adapt. This presents investment opportunities, but it also presents new investment risks.

Latest ICO Updates on VLR Token – Valorem Foundation ICO is LIVE! (TechBullion), Rated: A

Based on ERC-20, the multilayered cryptocurrency platform will host a marketplace that allows developmental phases. The first phase focuses on micro loans (small loans), rent payments, student loans and peer-to-peer payment processing.

As trust grows on the platform, phase 2 will be implemented to cater to sales distribution, global small business investing and global commercial and residential real estate crowdfunding while the third stage will serve charity and insurance. The final phase will be dedicated to maintenance and future developments that may include additional currency adoption, feature adding etc.

Valorem (VLR) is the token offered. The exchange rate stands at 1 ETH= 1000 VLR. There is a total supply of 200 million tokens of which 150 million are available during the ICO and 50 million will be kept in reserve. Valorem will not be mined.

Wealth managers must go digital (Raconteur), Rated: B

People born between roughly 1982 and 2002 are set to receive the biggest inheritance boom of any post-war generation. The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) estimated the figure will be around $4 trillion in the UK, Canada and United States.

An Interview with Kirill Suslov – The CEO at Finom and TabTrader Founder (NewsBTC), Rated: B

NewsBTC: Now it seems that you have no experience with banking services yet. How do you plan to cover this area?

Now I can say we understand confidently how banking works and how it should work in the crypto industry. By 2020, we’re going to have a licensed bank and transform it into a crypto one with a network of crypto terminals.

A bit sooner, in 2018, we plan to release crypto e-wallets with linked debit cards. Miners will be able to use recently mined coins right away, transferring them to their wallets immediately. We’re also designing a platform for peer-to-peer lending.

Australia

Peer To Peer Lending Increasingly Popular In Australia (compare dinkum), Rated: AAA

Australian investors and borrowers are increasingly adopting peer to peer lending platforms according to the results of survey undertaken by ASIC. The results of the survey suggest that as much as $300 million of personal and business loans were underwritten by peer to peer lenders over the course of the last fiscal year. That represents a doubling in the amount that was lent on such platforms during the 2015/2016 financial year.

Why Australia needs a better system for credit scores (The Converstion), Rated: AAA

Australia’s credit rating system is failing both borrowers and lenders. Many borrowers are unaware of their own credit scores and our research shows they have trouble applying for suitable loans. Lenders are also struggling with too little information, causing them to extend loans to those they shouldn’t and restrict loans to worthy borrowers.

Upcoming changes to Australia’s credit reporting system could remedy these issues.

Under the new credit reporting regime, both lenders and borrowers will have access to more data, such as monthly payment histories on loans and credit cards.

More innovation ahead in mortgage lending

For higher-risk borrowers, novel techniques to assess credit risk (such as analysis of social media accounts) may be the answer to distinguish good borrowers from bad.

But prior experience from an over-reliance on credit scores in the United States shows that careful assessment of borrowers remains vital.

India

Refer to these fintech startups for range of medical loans (Business Standard), Rated: A

Among all the personal the medical loan is the most crucial one which is often required on an urgent basis by the applicants.

Recently a host of Financial technology(Fintech) and Non-financing related start-ups have been launched in providing a variety of medical to the clients.

Canada

They couldn’t get loans from their banks so turned to a legitimate-looking lender online (The Star), Rated: AAA

Unable to qualify for a loan from her bank, Johnston searched online for private lenders and found a website for what appeared to be a legitimate company calling itself North Clear Credit.

Everything about it — the variety of loans offered, the glowing testimonials, the company description — seemed professional. In fact, a customer who later reported North Clear Credit to police says an officer told her the website looked legitimate.

For Johnston and Mood, the terms were appealing. The money could be paid back monthly over five years at an interest rate substantially lower than what they would be charged elsewhere.

Johnston completed an online application and was approved for a $20,000 loan.

Within a few days, Johnston and Mood had lost $3,500, and two North Clear Credit “representatives” with whom Johnston had been corresponding had disappeared.

Blackchain Announces Private Placement (Stockhouse), Rated: A

Blackchain Solutions Inc. (the “Company” or “Blackchain”) (CSE: BIS), announces a private placement of up to 3,400,000 units at a price of $0.18 per unit, for gross proceeds of $612,000.  Each unit consists of one common share and one share purchase warrant.  Each warrant is exercisable at a price of $0.22 per share for a term of two years.

Proceeds generated from this financing will be used to initiate and support the filing of multiple patents and trademarks related to the Blackchain Crypto Credit Rating API and P2P Lending Platform.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor