Daily News Digest Featured News

Tuesday October 3 2017, Daily News Digest

blooom
Source: BusinessWire

News Comments

United Kingdom

China

International

Asia

Middle East

News Summary

United States

blooom Becomes Fastest Independent Robo-advisor to Pass $ 1 Billion in Assets Under Management (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

According to monthly Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ADV filings, blooom, inc. reached $1 billion in assets under management (AUM) faster than any other independent robo-advisor. blooom achieved this milestone faster than Betterment and Wealthfront – and with less capital raised.

blooom, a first-of-its-kind robo-advisor, helps anyone with a 401(k) or comparable employer-sponsored retirement plan. blooom’s mission is to make “do-it-for-you” financial advice available, simple and affordable, regardless of the client’s account size.

The $1 billion AUM milestone is one of many key achievements for blooom over the past year.

  • In mid-2016, Sheila Bair, FDIC Chair under two U.S. Presidents and “the second most powerful woman in the world in 2008 and 2009” by Forbes, joined the company as an Advisory Board Member.
  • In February 2017, blooom raised $9.15 million in Series B funding and surpassed the $500 million mark in AUM.
  • Since 2014, as part of its free product evaluation, blooom has analyzed the health of more than $2 billion of individual 401(k) plan balances.
blooom
Source: BusinessWire

SoFi rolls out new deal amid exec reshuffle (GlobalCapital), Rated: AAA

SoFi filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for the upcoming deal, under its SOFI shelf. Deutsche Bank, Goldman SachsJP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley have been named in the documents as banks on the deal.

DBRS Assigns Provisional Ratings to SoFi Professional Loan Program 2017-E LLC (DBRS), Rated: AAA

DBRS, Inc. (DBRS) assigned provisional ratings to the following classes of notes issued by SoFi Professional Loan Program 2017-E LLC (SoFi 2017-E):

— $72,850,000 Class A-1 Notes at AAA (sf)
— $303,000,000 Class A-2A Notes at AAA (sf)
— $161,000,000 Class A-2B Notes at AAA (sf)
— $55,000,000 Class B Notes at AA (sf)
— $34,500,000 Class C Notes at A (sf)

SoFi Unlikely To Damage Digital Lending Sector (Market Intelligence), Rated: AAA

The recent exit of Social Finance Inc. CEO Mike Cagney represents the third departure of a big-name digital lending CEO since the start of 2016. Social Finance, more commonly known as SoFi, was long considered a bright spot in the digital lending industry after making it through a rough 2016 unscathed.

Everything unravels

Heading into 2016, investors started to notice higher-than-expected defaults on loans from large marketplace platforms, especially in lower-graded loans. In order to compensate for these higher losses, some lenders increased interest rates to keep investors on their platforms. For institutions that had been purchasing loans and packaging them into asset-backed securities, the underperformance of loans in previous securitizations became a concern. By April, Citigroup Inc. was having trouble marketing a new securitization of loans from personal-focused lender Prosper Marketplace Inc., leading the two firms to end their partnership. Without this important source of capital, Prosper saw originations fall 55.5% during the second quarter of 2016.

digital lending
Source: Market Intelligence

Past problems lead to a brighter future

Digital lenders entered 2017 with a renewed focus on operational efficiency and loan quality. For some, these measures are starting to pay off. LendingClub and On Deck both reached targeted profitability measures in the second quarter of the year. Prosper has reignited loan growth thanks to a $5 billion commitment to fund new loans, and the company reported positive adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter. Ex-LendingClub CEO Renaud Laplanche has launched a new personal-focused lender called Upgrade. Student-focused lender Earnest has taken a different approach and according to Bloomberg is seeking a buyer for its business. Originations have started to rebound as large lenders in the industry regain confidence in their models and continue to ramp up volumes.

loan originations
Source: Market Intelligence

Lending Club and Prosper Data: 10 Years In (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

Lending Club and Prosper have both been around over 10 years now. A lot has changed since both companies were founded, including the performance of the loans. In this blog post we’ll share the performance of each platform over the last 10 years. The fact that we have access to this data set is one of the things that makes marketplace lending unique. The screenshots from this post are taken from NSR Invest, a marketplace lending robo advisor that is also a sister company to Lend Academy.

Lending Club Data

For Lending Club investors, most loan grade returns peaked in 2013. As you look at this chart it is worth noting that the 2017 numbers are somewhat meaningless because the loans there have not seasoned yet.

LendingClub
Source: Lend Academy

Prosper Data

Prosper launched in 2006 as the first p2p lending platform in the U.S. Initially, they operated with a very different model allowing deep subprime borrowers on to their platform.

When they relaunched Prosper grew very slowly, they needed to prove out their platform to the many retail investors who had lost money in Prosper 1.0. Even in 2009 and 2010 originations were just $8 million and $27 million respectively. Prosper began to scale significantly in 2011 and onwards.

Prosper’s C grade loans are the closest to Lending Club’s D grade loans so this is the best side by side comparison.

Prosper
Source: Lend Academy

FT Partners’ CEO Monthly Alternative Lending Market Analysis (October ’17) (FT Partners), Rated: AAA

LendingClub
Source: FT Partners

September was another active month for the FT Partners team as we announced three significant FinTech transactions and the appointment of two additions to our senior team.

We are pleased to announce our role advising:

We are also pleased to announce our appointment of Melissa Wasser as Director and Head of Private Capital Markets and Paul VanderMarck as Managing Director. Melissa, who joins us from Goldman Sachs, will provide our clients with an even more intense focus on targeting both strategic and financial capital as well as further strengthening our increasingly diverse and global network of investor relationships. Paul, who joins us after a long career as a senior executive at Risk Management Solutions, brings 25 years of deep domain expertise in the InsurTech space and further broadens our overall FinTech specialization. Paul will work hand-in-hand with our clients to better understand their businesses and to help achieve the best possible outcomes for founders and shareholders.

alternative lending
Source: FT Partners

Download the full report here.

College Ave Student Loans Completes $ 161MM in Inaugural Securitization (BusinessWire), Rated: A

College Ave Student Loans, the leading next-generation student loan marketplace lender, announced it has completed a $161 million securitization of private student loans, its first securitization. The CASL 2017-A transaction, completed over the summer, received an ‘A’ rating from DBRS and a ‘BBB’ rating from S&P for its highest-rated senior notes. The transaction was four-times oversubscribed. Barclays was the underwriter on the transaction.

The securitization also marks a year of growth for College Ave Student Loans. To date, the company has secured more than $2 billion of committed loan purchasing power from multiple sources.

Why are Amazon, PayPal meeting with bank regulators? (American Banker), Rated: A

Technology giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple are showing an increasing interest in engaging with federal banking regulators, a move that underscores Silicon Valley’s growing involvement in the financial services arena.

Amazon lobbyists met with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency starting in the second quarter of 2016, and again this year to discuss “issues related to mobile payments and payment processing, financial innovation, and technology,” according to publicly available lobbying disclosures.

PayPal, meanwhile, met with OCC officials in the second, third and fourth quarters of last year to discuss “mobile payment innovation” issues related to underserved customers and remittances and money transfers, according to its disclosures.

Vestwell Raises $ 8 Million in Series A Funding led by F-Prime Capital Partners (Business Insider), Rated: A

Vestwell, the industry’s first and only fiduciary-backed retirement platform for the financial advisor community, today announced $8 million in Series A Funding led by F-Prime Capital Partners, the venture capital group associated with the parent company of Fidelity Investments, with participation from Primary Venture Partners, FinTech Collective, and Commerce Ventures. Launched in late 2016, Vestwell received $4.5 million in its initial Series Seed of financing in September 2016.

So far this year, the company has signed over 50 registered investment advisor (RIAs) firms, as well as independent broker-dealers, asset managers, and bank/trust custodians, with plans to onboard several thousand advisors this year.  The funding will be used to grow the team while further enhancing the technology.

YieldStreet Adds Three Tech Disruptors to Its Advisory Board (YieldStreet Email), Rated: A

YieldStreet, the fintech company seeking to change the way we invest and accumulate wealth, announced the addition of three new members to its advisory board: Ron Suber of Prosper Marketplace, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson of Gilt, and Mitch Jacobs of OnDeck.

The three new members join an elite team of advisors whose deep expertise spans technology, investing, policy and financial services. The current members include economic policy expert Donald Marron Jr. of the Urban Institute, Rahul Gupta former Group President of Fiserv (NASDAQ: FISV), Mark Gerson founder of GLG, former House  Majority Whip Tony Coelho, and Todd Deutsch formerly of Goldman Sachs.

The Risk Of Playing Alt Lending’s Rate Limbo (PYMNTS), Rated: A

And while there are myriad explanations, one clear issue – according to Quick.me CEO Ola Okeshola – is the simple fact that access to capital for small businesses has dried up significantly since the Great Recession, as banks have either gone out of business or lost interest in lending to that sub-segment of the market.

FinTech, Okeshola said, can offer SMBs streamlined access to funds in ways that are unprecedented. That’s the good news: There is a large, hungry and addressable market out there.

The more challenging news is that finding ways to address that market isn’t necessarily as easy as flipping a switch – it’s addressing the right problem in the right way.

For small business loans, he explained, giving an SMB a low interest rate or a very fast approval time nearly guarantees they will sign on, regardless of how much it cost the alt lender to acquire that customer.

In Quick.me’s case, that means working with POS providers as their referral source, to basically cut their customer acquisition costs as much as possible. Because they can’t make money back spending hundreds of millions to acquire customers, they instead decided to explore how to work with someone who’s already spent that money.

The Source Code: Max Levchin (Marketplace), Rated: A

Max Levchin knows a thing or two about money. He helped found PayPal almost 20 years ago, and his new startup, Affirm, is in the business of lending.


Source available: Finance Industry Files Lawsuit to Overturn CFPB Arbitration Rule (Ballard Spahr Email), Rated: A

A coalition of chambers of commerce and consumer financial services associations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Bankers Association, filed a lawsuit in federal court on Friday seeking to block the implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s final arbitration rule. The rule would prohibit the use of class action waivers in consumer financial services arbitration agreements. Class action waivers preclude consumers from participating in class action lawsuits and instead require them to individually arbitrate their disputes with companies.

Fintech startup Curve partners with accounting software Xero to make filing expenses ‘frictionless’ (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Curve, the London fintech startup that lets you consolidate all your bank cards into a single card and track your spending, has partnered with accounting software Xero to remove much of the friction involved in filing expenses. The move is part of the newly-launched ‘Curve Connect’ feature that will see Curve connect to a growing list of third-party apps and services to make managing your money easier.

Specifically, the Xero feature gives you the option to connect the Curve app to Xero so that spending on your Curve card (and therefore any of the underlying cards you’ve linked Curve to) can be automatically added to the accounting software without the need to enter each expense manually.

Here’s How Blockchain Will Change the Financial Services Industry (Business.com), Rated: A

The blockchain is, essentially, a vast, distributed ledger capable of recording anything of value. It can record deeds, rental agreements, equities, contracts, money, titles and, realistically, any kind of asset. These records can be stored and moved privately between two parties independent of any financial intermediary. It is essentially a peer-to-peer transaction tool that does not rely on an intermediary for verification or identification of the involved parties.

If financial intermediaries are not required for transactions, banks are the supposedly biggest losers in this equation.

Lawyers, investment bankers, and venture capitalists come with high attached costs, but the emergence of peer-to-peer lending schemes and equity crowdfunding schemes have derailed this market for over a decade.

First Data, Live Oak team up on fintech startup to take on big banks (Biz Journals), Rated: A

A New York technology firm and a North Carolina banking company have joined forces on a startup that could help community banks compete with mammoth firms such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

Checking account fees surge. Here’s how to dodge them (Bankrate), Rated: A

There is a paradox in banking right now: Fees have never been higher, but it’s also easier than ever to sidestep them.

The average cost of an out-of-network ATM withdrawal is $4.69, up 2.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the 2017 Bankrate checking account survey. Meanwhile, overdraft fees rose 1 percent to $33.38.

But if you tweak your habits, assess priorities and lean on technology, you can dodge these charges altogether.

Overdraft fees

overdraft fees
Source: Bankrate

Link a savings account. This will serve as a backstop to your checking account. Your bank may charge you to move money when you overspend, but that fee might be $5 to $10, McBride says — significantly less than the cost of an overdraft. If you have an alert on, you can move money from your buffer account into your checkingwithout a charge.

Instead, look for no-fee or low-fee accounts, like those offered by online banks and fintech companies, like Dave.com, Chime and Qapital.

ATM fees

The average ATM surcharge — the fee levied by the other bank — was $2.97, up 2.4 percent from a year earlier, according to our survey. The average fee banks charge to use another bank’s ATM was $1.72, up nearly 3 percent from a year earlier.

atm fees
Source: Bankrate

If it is unwilling or if you want better options, shop around for other accounts. Some online banks not only have no out-of-network fee, but cover a set amount — say $15 — of ATM surcharges each month.

Tamarack Launches 5 Clients with Lease/Loan Origination Accelerator (Monitor Daily), Rated: A

Tamarack Consulting, a provider of independent software solutions in the equipment finance and commercial lending industry, has taken five new clients live on Salesforce utilizing Tamarack’s proprietary Lease/Loan Origination Accelerator.

With more than 40 Salesforce clients utilizing the Lease/Loan Origination service, Tamarack added VFI Corporate Finance, TEAM Funding Solutions, Centra/4 Hour Funding, BSB Leasing and Dimension Funding to its list of clients that launched through the Lease/Loan Accelerator and are now processing leases and loans via Salesforce.com.

Tamarack’s Lease/Loan Origination Accelerator on Salesforce is a scalable solution offering users the ability to automate work queues, increase throughput of loans without additional head count and customize notifications from lead generation through to funding.

Average CEO Pay at Big RIAs Nears $ 800K (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: B

If you’re trying to break away or simply want to see what the big boys are doing on The Street in terms of compensating key employees, then Fidelity has some salary benchmarking figures that might be of interest.

In a new research report, the asset manager and custodian surveyed large RIAs and multi-family offices to see what they’re paying in 20 different job categories.

Participants were handpicked by Fidelity and required to have at least $1 billion in assets under management. Compensation ranges from CEOs getting on average $458,900 in base pay — $797,300 with cash and other bonuses included — to $285,200 for a typical big company chief investment officer ($469,600 total).

By contrast, chief financial officers have “a significantly lower portion of their compensation based on incentives,” the survey adds. Base pay for a typical CFO is listed at $243,100 with total compensation topping $328,000.

Angelo State University Students Graduate With Very Little Debt (San Angelo Live), Rated: B

Angelo State University has been ranked among the nation’s top 150 “Public Colleges That Give Students the Least Private Student Loan Debt” by The Student Loan Report (SLR), a news and information guide dedicated exclusively to college student loans and financial aid.

ASU is ranked No. 57 in the nation, which puts ASU in the top 12 percent of the 480 public colleges in the U.S. that left students with private student loan debt. According to the SLR rankings, only 3 percent of ASU graduates leave school with outstanding private student loan debt, and their average debt load is $14,431.

The fintech name generator (Vested Ventures), Rated: B

Vested has launched a fintech name generator with categories for banking, investment management, lending, payments, personal finance, tax & accounting, wealth management, blockchain, private equity, insurtech, and more. Check it out here.

United Kingdom

What’s £38m of “other expenses” between friends? (Financial Times Alphaville), Rated: AAA

Take Funding Circle, for example.

The accounts showed sales up 59 per cent to £50.1m, while its operating loss worsened at a slower rate of 30 per cent to £51.8m.

Despite the progress, operating expenses at £103m still stand at double the company’s sales.

Rent on land and buildings, as well as depreciation and amortisation, make up another £9m or so of operating expenses.

Funding Circle
Source: Financial Times

The P2P Power 50 (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

So, who are the key players influencing the UK’s P2P sector? The inaugural Peer2Peer Finance News Power 50 list aims to identify the big names in the industry who have helped it grow into a force to contend with over the past decade and who will play a key role in its future.

Our top 10 list gives particular acknowledgement to the most influential individuals that we believe have helped establish the P2P brand or will be the biggest drivers in its future.

P2P Power 50
Source: P2P Finance News
Peter Renton
Source: P2P Finance News

Read the full list of P2p powerbrokers.

£200m UK SME funding programme launched by ThinCats (RealBusiness), Rated: A

Lending platform ThinCats and parent company ESF Capital have introduced a £200m SME funding programme for British growth businesses.

The launch of the SME funding scheme by ESF and ThinCats will support loans from £100,000 right up to £5m for leaders looking for an injection to take their companies to the next level.

The company is joined by New York-headquartered Waterfall Asset Management, which has added £70m to the pot, a firm that currently manages $6bn of assets.

Why financial services should be terrified of dispensing wealth management robo-advice (Banking Technology), Rated: A

Robo-advice costs less than “bricks & mortar & human” services, hopefully harvesting a bigger market. Today it primarily invests clients’ money in mainstream investments aimed at generating attractive risk-adjusted returns over time.

With mutual distributed ledgers (aka blockchains), there are going to be immutable versions of what was advised, what happened, and what the robo-code at the time decided. Robo-advice with blockchain leaves a permanent trail.

London-Based Fin-Tech Platform Nebeus Championing Banks as Public Utilities (Business Insider), Rated: A

London-based Nebeus.com – a crypto-currency platform enabling customers to buy, sell, store, remit, lend and borrow crypto-currency funds – is launching a pre-ICO campaign to fund its ambitious plans.

Developed over the last three years, the company currently operates as a crypto-currency wallet, allowing consumers to buy, remit, loan, borrow and exchange. They are also proud to have recently joined LEVEL39 – the world’s most connected community for finance, cybersecurity, retail and smart-city technology businesses.

Having raised over £1.5M GBP in private funding in previous years, the company wants to open up its platform to third-party developers; creating a ‘supermarket’ of financial products and services based on blockchain and smart contracts, while providing full transparency and security as it serves individual, corporate and developer communities.

Download the Nebeus whitepaper.

Landbay makes five new hires following record lending month (Financial Reporter), Rated: A

Landbay has reported a record month of buy-to-let lending in September, with a total of £6.31 million lent across 31 mortgages.

In response to the growth, as well as to the new PRA regulation surrounding portfolio landlords, Landbay has made five new hires.

Among them, James Cooper-Smith and Joela Jenvey both join the lending team as Senior Lending Officer and Key Account Manager respectively, while Wing Chan joins the wider team as Operating Manager.

How To Raise Finance For Your Business (The Voice), Rated: B

1. THE SOURCE

Equity has massive implications for dilution – so don’t ignore the debt option.

2. THE FINANCIAL MODEL

Put your figures into a spreadsheet and test them. Try out different scenarios – see what happens to the numbers.

3. THE VALUATION

To get a sensible, realistic idea of the value of your company, compare the most recent valuations for transactions in the space.

4. THE MONEY

For example, Sola Bank and Baldetton Capital work in the £100million arena. Whereas EIS/SEIS and VCT funds generally work in the £1-5million sphere. For smaller amounts contact angel investors.

5. THE CONTACTS

6. THE DOCUMENTS

It is essential to prepare a one-page summary of the opportunity. Too much information is not helpful.

China

CBRC cautions on surging consumer loans (China.org), Rated: A

China’s top banking regulator on Friday warned surging consumer loans may pose potential risks to the country’s lending system.

It also cautioned against a fast rise in consumer leverage ratio.

Recent inspections on banks by CBRC branches and the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, have found that some consumer loans were used to make a down payment for home purchases or as an investment, rather than using them for travel, education, home renovation or to buy consumer durables.

International

Souqalmal.com raises $ 10m in Series B funding with investment from UK’s GoCompare (The National), Rated: A

Price comparison website Souqalmal.com has raised US$10 million in Series B funding to expand its regional presence and increase its offline service offering, with leading UK firm GoCompare joining the funding round.

GoCompare Group, which operates the popular UK comparison site GoCompare, is a minority investor in the funding, which is led by Saudi-based Riyad Taqnia Fund (RTF), with UAE Exchange Group also participating.

Asia

TrueMoney finds a niche in Myanmar’s mobile fintech space (Myanmar Times), Rated: AAA

TrueMoney, one of the newest additions to the string of fintech firms vying for a slice of the mobile money market in Myanmar, is upping its game in the face of rising competition.

TrueMoney, a Thai company, provides mobile financial services allowing users to deposit cash in mobile accounts online or at physical point-of-sale outlets and transfer cash equivalents to a network of agents domestically or overseas.

In ASEAN, TrueMoney is the only fintech company to have established a mobile money network in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, allowing users to transfer money between these countries.

TrueMoney is also the only mobile payments firm that allows Myanmar workers in Thailand to send money home, all within the hour.

Around 80 per cent of the population do not have bank accounts in Myanmar, where most prefer to carry large wads of cash. With mobile money technology, many operators see the country leapfrogging bank accounts altogether.

Middle East

This UAE Startup Secured an Investment of US$ 5M, and is Planning on Expanding to Saudi Arabia (Startup Magazine), Rated: A

The leading MENA’s peer to peer lending platform, Beehive, has managed to secure US$5 million investment as part of a Series A round Riyad TAQNIA Fund.

Up to now, Beehive has successfully arranged the lending of over US$ 35 million (AED 130 million) to more than 200 business finance requests. In addition to that, it also registered more than 5,000 international investors.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

Testimonials

default image

"Your daily letter is great!" , Ram , Founder and CEO, PeerIQ

default image

"Hi George - just want to tell you that you are doing a great work with Lending Times;-) Brgds, Kasper" , Kasper, Partner and Co-founder at Dansk Faktura Børs A/S

default image

"I've been following your newsletter for some time now and have been very impressed with the content." Charlie,Co-Founder | Bolstr

default image

"Hey George, I must say I really enjoy your site. It has inspired me to do some changes at our platform and we are the biggest consumer lender in Sweden." , Ludwig, CEO @ Savelend Sweden AB

default image

"Your daily email is very useful. It gives quick update on what's going in the market. Thank you very much for all that info." Yann Murciano, Head of Base Metals Trading at Morgan Stanley

Our daily p2p news digest