- Today’s main news: Morgan Stanley opens $100 million line of credit for FinTech startup Affirm.
- Today’s main analysis : In an age when people have lost trust with traditional banks, does it matter that Goldman Sachs offers alternative lending, which is preferred by Millennials, more favorably than a purist platform can?
- Today’s thought-provoking articles: Peer-to-peer lending inflates China property bubble. Should people (even lenders) trust algorithms? Why it’s important to define “investment advice.” The UN plans to convene a global FinTech coalition to clean up the environment. Some key takeaways from #LendIt Europe.
- Morgan Stanley legitimizes FinTech startup Affirm. Big banks have been edging closer and closer to embracing FinTech completely. This move takes one more step toward taking the financial sector into a new era of tech dominance. This is big news. Morgan Stanley’s big pockets funding an alternative lending startup like Affirm adds a little maturity to the industry and symbolizes the big bank era of FinTech. Once the big banks are in, you won’t get them out, and it only — ahem — affirms that you can teach old dogs new tricks. This move also reminds on the privileged relationship between Lending Club and Morgan Stanley. It further validates the point-of-sales lending vs other market segments.
- Intuit and American Express join forces to show small businesses how to handle their cash flow more efficiently.
- Lending Robot, the robo-advisor that connects retail investors to P2P loans, has launched a new product: LendingRobot for Advisors. Note that Lending Club itself is not offering the robots, but a 3rd party company who is working closely with Lending Club. Also we wrote previously about high frequency buying of Lending Club notes by Lending Robot and the unlikelihood that retail investors can compete.
- Fast Company asks if consumers will trust Goldman Sachs with their debt. This is a good question, and one that Goldman Sachs should be asking, as well, in light of the fact that Millennials, the largest living generation, has issues with trust. And especially issues with trusting large banks after their actions in 2008 and previously where they appear to have put their interest ahead of their client’s interests.
- A Harvard mathematician questions whether big data algorithms can be trusted.
- LearnVest is disrupting from the inside out. I may question whether the term “disruption” should be applied to this scenario. “Transformation” seems like a better word. Let’s not be too eager to call everything a disruption.
- Technology is “revolutionizing” commercial real estate investing. Another word that is often overused.
- Military families can get free financial advice.
- Millennials are great at saving for the future. What they’re not so great at is investing.
- Should the next U.S. president appoint a FinTech advisor? Ripple CEO Chris Larsen thinks so.
- At least one person agrees with Chris Larsen.
- There seems to be a correlation between FinTech investment going down and insurance tech investment going up. Don’t count that as causation, please.
- The Financial Conduct Authority has recognized Lending Works with full authorization. Cpngratulations !
- LendInvest has a new VP of Compliance.
- ThinCats achieves a new landmark.
- Does it really matter how you define “financial advice?” Ian Neale clearly thinks so.
- You can even help define “financial advice.”
- UK government to establish single financial guidance body. What are the implications?
- Some interesting thoughts on how FinTech can change the way the money business actually works.
- Klarna onboards new partners,again, for retail financing solution.
- Some key takeaways from LendIt Europe. You’ll want to read this for two reasons: Some insightful commentary about the conversations that took place at the conference, and the news of what those conversations where–good summary of the conference itself.
- We’re all familiar with the U.S. disruptors, but what about the Asian ones? This insightful article compares what is going on in Asia with what has already happened in the U.S.
- Has P2P lending inflated the Chinese real estate bubble? Here are some good reasons to think so.
- Chinese regulators are very concerned with online financial risk. Here’s what they’re planning to do about it.
- Hong Kong’s Monexo is looking to enter the Indian P2P market and has raised up to $10 million to do so.
- Why P2P lending is risky.
- Costs are likely to offset transparency brought about by Sebi’s proposals.
- South African FinTech startups receive $350K award. South Africa may be poised to become a major FinTech hub due to its financial infrastructure.
- The Middle East has been slower to adopt digital technologies in FinTech than the rest of the world, but some analysts are saying Islamic banks are destined to join the rest of us.
- United States
- Morgan Stanley Makes $100-Million Move on Fintech Startup Affirm Inc. (The Wall Street Journal), Rated: AAA
- American Express and Intuit Help Small Businesses Tackle Cash Flow Crunch (Intuit.com), Rated: AAA
- Lending Robot for Advisors Launches Connecting to Lending Club Platform (Crowdfund Insider), Rated A
- Will You Trust Marcus (And Goldman Sachs) With Your Debt? (Fast Company), Rated: AAA
- Don’t trust that algorithm (Harvard Gazette), Rated: A
- How LearnVest is transforming the financial services giant that acquired it (Technical.ly), Rated: A
- How Technology Is Revolutionizing CRE Investing (NREI Online), Rated: A
- Get free financial advice for joining Military Times special report (Military Times), Rated: B
- The Money Blind Spot for Millennials (Next Avenue), Rated: A
- Ripple CEO Calls for Next President to Appoint FinTech Advisor (CoinDesk), Rated: A
- Bitcoin, Fintech and the New President of the United States (News BTC), Rated: A
- Fintech Investment Slides as Insurance Tech Gains (The Wall Street Journal), Rated: A
- United Kingdom
- Lending Works gains full FCA authorisation (Financial Reporter), Rated: A
- LendInvest Appoints Willem Wellinghoff As New VP of Compliance (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B
- ThinCats set to pass £200m landmark (BridgingandCommercial.co.uk), Rated: B
- What price advice? (Pension Funds Online), Rated: A
- Don’t miss this chance to help define ‘financial advice’ (Professional Adviser), Rated: B
- UK government agrees plans for single financial guidance body (Out-Law.com), Rated: A
- Can fintech change the way the money business works? (E&T), Rated: A
- Klarna onboards new UK partners for its retail financing solution (Banking Technology), Rated: B
- European Union
- Takeaways from #LenditEurope: watch while the next phase unfolds! (Daily FinTech), Rated: A
- Bank of Russia Head Sees Bigger Challenge Than Rates for Lenders (Bloomberg), Rated: A
- Statewide Super partners on digital advice (Financial Standard), Rated: B
- US Tech Disruptors…and Their Asian Counterparts (Equities.com), Rated: A
- Peer-to-peer lending inflates China property bubble (Nikkei Asian Review), Rated: A
- China issues details of rules to tackle online financial risk (Reuters), Rated: AAA
- Monexo looks to raise $5-10 mn. for P2P business in India (The Hindu), Rated: A
- Lending on P2P platforms is risky (Business Standard), Rated: A
- Sebi’s proposals to bring in transparency but costs could go up, say advisors (India Times, ET Markets), Rated: A
- 5 South African Fintech Startups Awarded $350K at AlphaCode Event (Face2Face Africa), Rated: A
- Middle East
- Islamic banks need to get ready for imminent Fintech disruption (Gulf News), Rated: AAA
- Latest report on peer-to-peer lending market size, business growth and opportunities for 2016 published by leading research firm (WhaTech), Rated: A
- Opinion: Fintech should be eco-friendly (Financial Times), Rated: A
Morgan Stanley Makes 0-Million Move on Fintech Startup Affirm Inc. (The Wall Street Journal), Rated: AAA
The Wall Street titan is furnishing a $100 million credit line for Affirm, the four-year-old San Francisco company led by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, which was valued at $800 million in its most recent fundraising.
It is the first time Morgan Stanley has backed the lender, which has raised cash from venture-capital investors and debt from investment bank Jefferies and others.
The new credit will add additional lending capacity for Affirm, which is still small in terms of the overall loan market. Still, the company says it has tripled its lending volume since last year, and expects more than $300 million this year. Overall, it has raised some $525 million in cash and debt financing.
Though some banks and lenders are warning that consumer credit growth may start to taper after years of expansion, the startups are betting on a bigger behavioral shift: That consumers, especially younger ones, will eventually use small loans to replace credit cards.
About a third of Affirm borrowers are millennials, and “a large subset of that group is pretty definitively anti-credit card,” Mr. Levchin said in an interview. And they often have other financing options available, he said.
The credit from Morgan Stanley, which declined to comment, also doubles down on Affirm’s decision hold on to its own loans rather than selling them into the market, a model that has challenged firms such as LendingClub and SoFi this year, as investors cut back sharply on their loan purchases.
American Express and Intuit Help Small Businesses Tackle Cash Flow Crunch (Intuit.com), Rated: AAA
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ:INTU) and American Express today announced a partnership that will give qualified QuickBooks Online small business customers who are also American Express OPEN® Business Card Members access to short-term, low-cost financing from American Express to pay vendors and ease the cash flow crunch. This unique partnership will make American Express Working Capital Terms the payables financing solution for QuickBooks Online customers.
A report by the Small Business Administration found that insufficient or delayed financing is the second most-common reason for businesses to fail1. By combining automated accounting processes with increased access to quick financing and payment options, this integration will provide small businesses with timely funding to help pay their vendors, help them stay competitive and reduce accounting headaches.
Lending Robot for Advisors Launches Connecting to Lending Club Platform (Crowdfund Insider), Rated A
Lending Robot, the robo-advisor that connects retail investors to P2P loans, has launched a new product: LendingRobot for Advisors. This new service will help connect registered investment advisors to invest in Lending Club loans. The new application is in partnership with Millenium Trust the firm that provides the custodial services for financial advisors. Millenium is a large financial service firm with about $18.9 billion in assets under custody and more than 458,000 accounts under administration.
For financial advisors, you just create a parent account and then link the accounts of their clients. Advisors may then create unique risk and investment profiles for each client, which are then managed by LendingRobot algorithms according to each preference. All monitoring and reporting is available for any individual client, or as a unified dashboard across all client accounts.
Will You Trust Marcus (And Goldman Sachs) With Your Debt? (Fast Company), Rated: AAA
One hundred and sixty-eight years ago, at a time when U.S. states still minted their own currency and the Statue of Liberty had yet to be built, a Bavarian immigrant by the name of Marcus Goldman first stepped foot on American soil.
Chances are you’d be happy to borrow money to pay off your debt from a hardworking family man like Marcus, his success story writ in sepia tones. Or that at least is the theory behind Marcus by Goldman Sachs, the lending product for everyday Americans that the Wall Street firm unveiled today, more than a year after installing Discover executive Harit Talwar at the product’s helm.
Marcus joinsa crowded field of online lending startups, all chasing after a U.S. market worth as much as $1 trillion, excluding mortgages. But none benefit from the direct backing of a parent institution like Goldman Sachs, with its longevity and balance-sheet billions. As an extension of GS Bank USA, Marcus can fund unsecured personal loans without simultaneously having to find investors willing to buy them. For consumers, that arrangement translates into more flexible loan terms and an interest-based business model that eliminates the need for fees—if, of course, potential borrowers can stomach the idea of doing business with a financial institution that many labeled a pariah during the financial crisis.
Don’t trust that algorithm (Harvard Gazette), Rated: A
I was a very naive, apolitical person going into finance. I thought of mathematics as this powerful tool for clarity and then I was utterly disillusioned and really ashamed of the mortgage-backed securities [industry], which I saw as one of the driving forces for the  crisis and a mathematical lie. They implied that we had some mathematical, statistical evidence that these mortgage-backed securities were safe investments, when, in fact, we had nothing like that.
Big data profiles people. It has all sorts of information about them — consumer behavior, everything available in public records, voting, demography. It profiles people and then it sorts people into winners and losers in various ways. Are you persuadable as a voter or are you not persuadable as a voter? Are you likely to be vulnerable to a payday loan advertisement or are you impervious to that payday loan advertisement?
But all of us are subject to many, many algorithms, many of which we can’t even detect. Whenever we go online, whenever we buy insurance, whenever we apply for loans, especially if we look for peer-to-peer lending loans.
The real misunderstanding that people have about algorithms is that they assume that they’re fair and objective and helpful.
How LearnVest is transforming the financial services giant that acquired it (Technical.ly), Rated: A
LearnVest is driving Northwestern Mutual to look at themselves as a software company in order to keep up with the changing landscape and global economy, said Azret Deljanin, director of IT and infrastructure at the New York City financial planning tech company.
Considering Northwestern Mutual has been in business for about 150 years longer than LearnVest, this seems to encapsulate the word “disruptive,” which, yes, is often a cliche in the startup world.
How Technology Is Revolutionizing CRE Investing (NREI Online), Rated: A
Commercial real estate investing is a growing industry where personal relationships are pivotal—and these relationships are commonly built via face-to-face meetings and document-heavy correspondence. Sponsors and investors have typically exchanged information through low-tech and high-touch channels, without a great reliance upon technology.
Thanks to the JOBS Act, sponsors are now allowed to market investment opportunities more broadly through general solicitation of accredited investors. This means they can post properties online, thus opening up an immense new audience of potential partners. In fact, according to the SEC, more than 12 million U.S. households qualify as accredited investors.
As we’re beginning to see, tech is turning commercial real estate investing into a scalable, transparent industry of long-term relationships. Think along the lines of social media: investors can be “linked” with sponsors and monitor investment opportunities—all from the comfort of their smartphones or computers.
As a direct result of this demystification, we are seeing a drastic increase in tech-enabled commercial real estate investing. In fact, according to Massolution’s 2015CF Crowdfunding Industry Report, more than $2.5 billion was invested globally via online avenues in 2015, and that number is expected to grow to $3.5 billion this year.
Get free financial advice for joining Military Times special report (Military Times), Rated: B
Military Times is preparing a special report in which we will connect active-duty members with professional financial planners for a free review of whether you’re on the right track, or if there are some areas you need to shore up to reach your financial goals.
Participants must be willing to have the details of their finances made public after the review, with their names and photos included.
To be considered for this review, contact staff writer Karen Jowers at email@example.com with your name, age, rank, branch of service, marital status (single, married, engaged), number of children (if any), years of military service and current assignment station.
The Money Blind Spot for Millennials (Next Avenue), Rated: A
The Millennial generation — the kids of boomers and Generation X — seems to really get the importance of saving. But based on four new surveys I’ve seen, Millennials also seem to have a blind spot when it comes to investing.
In Fidelity’s survey, only 62 percent of Millennials said they have investment accounts. Worse, just 9 percent of Millennials said they see themselves as investors.
What’s more, when American Funds asked what makes them feel smarter as an investor, only 43 percent of Millennials said “sticking with my investment strategy” (compared to 65 percent of boomers). And 12 percent of Millennials told American Funds that they think picking the next hot stock or market sector makes them “feel smarter as an investor.” Only 2 percent of boomers felt that way.
Similarly, Wells Fargo’s survey said that 59 percent of thirtysomething workers “focus more on avoiding loss than maximizing the growth of their investments for retirement.”
The Millennials surveys show that many in this generation aren’t turning to financial advisers either.
Ripple CEO Calls for Next President to Appoint FinTech Advisor (CoinDesk), Rated: A
Chris Larsen, CEO of Ripple, is calling for the next US president to appoint an advisor to help navigate the rapidly changing financial technology sector. In a new blog post, released today, Larsen argues that technology is redrawing the boundaries of finance – and that the US government needs to take action to keep American companies competitive.
Thus far, only Clinton has weighed in on the subject of blockchain, indicating support for some form of national policy in a campaign statement published in June. To date, Trump’s campaign has declined to discuss the tech when reached.
Larsen went on to say that a FinTech advisor to the president could help ease concerns in another key area: regulation.
Bitcoin, Fintech and the New President of the United States (News BTC), Rated: A
With the US presidential elections around the corner, there is a sense of apprehension in the cryptocurrency industry regarding government policies under the new president. While the two contenders, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump continue to debate about various policies, they seem to have missed out one specific segment — the fintech sector.
The potential of cryptocurrencies and their underlying blockchain technology has already been proven by the success of Bitcoin.
Fintech Investment Slides as Insurance Tech Gains (The Wall Street Journal), Rated: A
Organizers of InsureTech Connect had to scramble to pump audio and video from the opening session into an overflow room after a security guard blocked entry to the main hall as it got full, said Jay Weintraub, founder of the inaugural conference. He said he had set an aggressive target of 1,000 attendees, but 1,500 showed up
About $945.6 million flowed into fintech in the third quarter of 2016, according to Dow Jones VentureSource, a 57% drop from the same period a year ago, when VCs deployed $2.2 billion into the broader sector, according to Dow Jones VentureSource. The amount invested in the most recent quarter was also down from the second quarter, when fintech companies raised $1.04 billion.
Investment in insurance technology companies is on the rise. VCs put $167 million to work in insurance in the third quarter. The sector saw more funding in each of this year’s quarters than in any of the similar periods last year.
Lending Works gains full FCA authorisation (Financial Reporter), Rated: A
Peer-to-peer lending platform Lending Works today announces that it has officially become fully authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.
LendInvest Appoints Willem Wellinghoff As New VP of Compliance (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B
Online commercial mortgage marketplace lender, LendInvest, announced on Thursday it appointed Willem Wellinghoff as its new VP of Compliance. Wellinghoff will reportedly be responsible for leading the compliance function, setting and maintaining LendInvest’s compliance and risk management strategy.
ThinCats set to pass £200m landmark (BridgingandCommercial.co.uk), Rated: B
ThinCats has revealed it is about to pass the £200m milestone in loans issued to UK SMEs via its platform.
The news follows ThinCats recent launch of its new two-tiered grading system for all loans on the platform’s primary market to provide investors with another level of information so they can assess the quality of a loan.
What price advice? (Pension Funds Online), Rated: A
Following a recommendation of the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) last March, HM Treasury (HMT) has proposed a radical redefinition of “regulated advice”.
The intended result is that consumers will receive “regulated advice” only when they are offered a personal recommendation for a specific ‘product’.
This is much narrower than the current definition, in Article 53 of the Regulated Activities Order, which relates to advising on investments.
Don’t miss this chance to help define ‘financial advice’ (Professional Adviser), Rated: B
As outlined in the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) earlier this year, the Treasury is now consulting on revising the definition of regulated financial advice, with a view to bringing it into line with the EU definition set out in the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).
The main part of the MiFID definition concerns the giving of a personal recommendation, whereas the current definition, as contained in the Regulated Activities Order (RAO), is broader and less specific.
Responses must be submitted before the week beginning 21 November to: Assets, Savings and Consumers, HM Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road, London SW1A 2HQ. Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
UK government agrees plans for single financial guidance body (Out-Law.com), Rated: A
UK ministers have agreed plans to replace the existing government-sponsored financial guidance services with a single body; to be responsible for delivering debt advice, money and pensions guidance.
At the Budget in March, the government announced its intention to replace the existing services with two public-facing bodies: a streamlined, money guidance body to replace the Money Advice Service (MAS); and a single pension guidance body combining the functions of the Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) and Pension Wise.
It will now further streamline the existing services in response to concerns raised by industry and finance groups, which had suggested that a single body would provide a more effective service and be less confusing for consumers.
Can fintech change the way the money business works? (E&T), Rated: A
The history of stock market booms is the history of technology.
Another hot sector is ‘fintech’. This is the use of the latest technology to revolutionise financial services. The fintech space is hot and many factors are inflating this concept.
Then there is the lure of early successes. PayPal is the biggest example of an internet disruptor that became a financial big boy. It’s worth more than Barclays Bank. By turning an email address into a bank account, PayPal has become worth almost as much as Goldman Sachs.
Then there is Bitcoin. While deeply flawed, this doyen of money-laundering has taken the finance industry’s breath away with its ‘blockchain’ technology.
Finally there is greed. Kids in hoodies are becoming the richest men on Earth. Make a simple app to send a self-deleting picture of your anatomy and voilà, you are a billionaire. Make a website that acts like a noticeboard for friends and become richer than Croesus. Enable people to blurt words into the vacuum of the internet and have your company worth more than Rolls-Royce.
Klarna onboards new UK partners for its retail financing solution (Banking Technology), Rated: B
Why limit getting in debt quickly only to the Arcadia Group shoppers? Payments provider Klarna onboards a raft of partners for its retail financing solution.
These include Shopify, Worldpay, BigCommerce and CyberSource – they “will now be able to make financing easily available to millions of British consumers through their network of online merchants”.
Takeaways from #LenditEurope: watch while the next phase unfolds! (Daily FinTech), Rated: A
“The Golden Age is in sight in marketplace lending” as the disruption through capital light business models spreads everywhere.
If you are looking to raise money, go into Insurance. The hype is gone in the US lending market, so it is very difficult to raise equity.
Lenders – From the investor’s side, we have retail, government, private funds, asset managers, institutional investors. Each class needs-requires a different wrapper. From direct loans, whole loans, private funds, private bonds backed by loans in SPVs, BDCs, listed funds, securitized deals.
THE INDUSTRY DISAGREES ABOUT THE BUSINESS MODEL: Engage in this open conversation here. Is the business model:
- Pure P2P platforms offering efficient intermediation between borrower and lender; with no inventory on the platform (e.g. RateSetter for consumer loans and Funding Circle for smallbiz loans)
- Using your balance sheet; Efficient servicing for borrowers; with a platform that has an inventory (a la Kabbage and LendInvest).
- Hybrid lending platforms.
The Oxera report can be downloaded here. The most interesting question addressed is “Do marketplace lending platforms have the incentive to do effective credit risk assessment (since they don’t allocate their own capital but “other people’s money” and they earn the spread – which is around 4%)”? The answer is positive.
Credit spreads have widened in the US and the CHAI securitization deals is on watch from Moody’s. Deals are forced to offer increased coupons and wider spreads. At the same time, in the US the new securitized deals see tightening in the secondary market. In addition, the securitization volume overall has been increasing despite decreasing origination volume.
Bank of Russia Head Sees Bigger Challenge Than Rates for Lenders (Bloomberg), Rated: A
Preoccupied by ultra-low interest rates in much of the industrialized world, the financial industry risks being blindsided by an even bigger challenge, according to Russian central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina.
New financial technologies such as peer-to-peer lending and the use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are coming under greater scrutiny by central banks. While some countries such as Singapore have taken a more relaxed approach to regulation as they focus on the benefits of innovation, nations from India toChina are tightening oversight to curb emerging risks. The technologies present a test for regulators that may even eclipse the challenge they pose for the banking industry as a whole, according to Nabiullina.
For the Bank of Russia, as the overseer of lenders and the country’s financial system as a whole, its entire “ideology” of regulation may need to change, Nabiullina said. The governor signaled that countries like Singapore and the U.K. will serve as models for Russia’s approach.
Statewide Super partners on digital advice (Financial Standard), Rated: B
Statewide Super is teaming with Decimal to provide digital financial advice to members.
The industry fund has signed a three year agreement with the software provider to offer its Eqilize solution to more than 140,000 members as part of an overall expansion of member services.
According to Decimal, Statewide is exactly the type of organisation it had in mind when developing Eqilize.
US Tech Disruptors…and Their Asian Counterparts (Equities.com), Rated: A
Technology is disrupting businesses.
The United States is a hotbed for such disruptive technologies to emerge, from Uber, which disrupted taxi companies, to Instagram, which disrupted the traditional method of sharing photo memories to Amazon.com (AMZN), which changed our shopping behavior.
According to McKinsey, half of the world’s urban population, or 2.5 billion people, will be living in Asia by 2025. This means that disruptive technology would be prominent in Asia in the decades ahead.
In August 2016, Uber officially gave up its game in China after losing $2 billion in two years there. Its Chinese competitor, Didi Chuxing, managed to lure investments from the likes of Alibaba (BABA), Tencent and Apple (AAPL).
Similarly in South East Asia, Grab is keen to stop Uber’s encroachment into their domestic market. Just recently in April 2016, Singapore taxi drivers are complaining about the private price war between Grab and Uber which reduced their incomes.
In Asia, the practice of lending directly to consumers remain undeveloped. The fintech sector there prefers to lend straight to businesses. Even then, they face stiff competition from the local banks who are eager to defend their market share.
So now is the time to reposition your portfolio towards technology – not only in the US but also in Asia. Even the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, had given up his tech aversion and invested in IBM (IBM) in 2011. This is a sign of times.
Peer-to-peer lending inflates China property bubble (Nikkei Asian Review), Rated: A
The rapid growth of online lending is contributing to China’s surging housing prices, giving borrowers a way around government efforts to control a potentially dangerous bubble.
Borrowing for real estate investment through online platforms totaled 125.6 billion yuan ($18.6 billion) this year through August, roughly double the year-earlier figure, data from Chinese research firm Yingcan Zixun shows.
Mainland stock prices crashed last year — the Shanghai Composite Index remains at just 60% of its 2015 peak — and individuals face tight restrictions on investing abroad. Money with little other place to go is flooding into real estate, creating a bubble that has spread inland, with housing prices jumping 20% in cities such as Nanjing and Hangzhou.
China issues details of rules to tackle online financial risk (Reuters), Rated: AAA
China’s cabinet and major financial regulators on Thursday published details of rules aimed at stamping out fraud and illegal fundraising in the country’s fast-growing online finance sector.
The State Council document, which dates from April, provides guidelines and more far-reaching oversight for regulation of online financial activity, including peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, crowd-funding and third-party payments.
The goal is to provide “market order” and safeguard the “vital interests” and “legitimate rights” of financial consumers, an unnamed senior official told the state-run Xinhua News Agency.
Beijing has abandoned its earlier hands-off approach to overseeing online financial services following a slew of scandals, frauds and high-profile P2P failures.
Monexo looks to raise -10 mn. for P2P business in India (The Hindu), Rated: A
Hong Kong-based Monexo Innovations, the latest entrant in the Indian peer-to-peer lending space, plans to raise about $5-10 million to scale up its business.
Currently, Monexo, which unveiled operations last month, has a few hundred lenders registered on its platform where borrowers can avail loans at interest rates in the range of 13 per cent and 30 per cent, depending on various parameters.
Lending on P2P platforms is risky (Business Standard), Rated: A
Becoming a lender at a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform could appear attractive. You lend to an individual whose credit profile has been evaluated by the P2P platform and start earning equated monthly instalments the next month. The returns can be as good as 16-22 per cent returns a year, more than double most annual fixed deposit rates. But, this investment comes with much higher risk.
Sebi’s proposals to bring in transparency but costs could go up, say advisors (India Times, ET Markets), Rated: A
In one of its proposals, Sebi has said that corporates should float a separate subsidiary to provide investment advisory services. Currently, they are allowed to do so through a separate department.
Another key proposal by Sebi is to eliminate the dual role played by the distributors of financial products. In simple words, a distributor cannot advice, if he wants to, he will have to get registered with Sebi.
Sebi has proposed a 3-year timeline for distributors who seek to migrate to investment adviser role. Well, this seems to be too long a duration.
Sebi is also looking to bring in the robo-advisors and several professionals such as CAs, CSs, CFAs etc. under the ambit of Investment Advisers regulations. Advisers welcome this move and say it will bring everyone at par. Some also argue that insurance agents should also be put under these regulations.
5 South African Fintech Startups Awarded 0K at AlphaCode Event (Face2Face Africa), Rated: A
Five South African financial technology startups have been awarded a total of $350,000 at a pitching event hosted by fintech club AlphaCode, reports DisruptAfrica. The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) event held in Johannesburg earlier this week, saw the Black-owned startups each walk away with $69,000 in funding from Merrill Lynch South Africa and Royal Bafokeng Holdings.
Gush added that South Africa has the potential to become a fintech center of excellence because of its incredibly advanced financial services infrastructure.
The five startups that took home a share of the top prize included online invoice selling startup, E-Factor, payment and commercial credit startup, Imafin, credit application platform, Invoiceworx, a digital platform for saving schemes called Stokfella, and Heritage Capital Partners, which seeks to invest growth capital into small to medium-sized companies.
Experts speaking at a plenary session at the Global Islamic Economy Summit 2016 said like their conventional peers, Islamic banks too have no choice but to embrace the next generation of computing and leverage on new generation digital technologies.
The Middle East’s banking sector has been relatively slow in adopting deep and transformative digitisation compared to its global peers, according to recent survey of corporate banking customers worldwide by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
According to a recent World Bank statistics more than 2 billion people around the world are unbanked and about half of them are in the Muslim world.
Islamic banking and Islamic finance are expected to hugely benefit from fintech and block chain technologies that will help to simplify transactions involving complex structures.
Latest report on peer-to-peer lending market size, business growth and opportunities for 2016 published by leading research firm (WhaTech), Rated: A
The Global Peer-to-peer Lending Industry Report 2016 is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the Peer-to-peer Lending industry. The report provides a basic overview of the industry including definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain structure.
The Peer-to-peer Lending market analysis is provided for the international markets including development trends, competitive landscape analysis, and key regions development status.
Development policies and plans are discussed as well as manufacturing processes and cost structures are also analyzed. This report also states import/export consumption, supply and demand Figures, cost, price, revenue and gross margins.
Opinion: Fintech should be eco-friendly (Financial Times), Rated: A
Climate change and the alarming degradation of natural capital — soil, air, water, biodiversity — demand urgent and sustained action from the global to the local level. This will cost trillions. Available estimates suggest sustainable developmentwill require annual investment of between $5tn and $7tn.
Today’s financial sector is not up to that challenge.
Against this backdrop, in 2014 UN Environment, the UN agency previously known as Unep, launched an inquiry to look at how the financial system could be better aligned with the needs of sustainable development. Its 2015 report The Financial System We Need found that a quiet revolution was already taking place, led by some developing countries.
Fintech will become truly interesting only if solutions can be scaled up. This is one of the reasons UN Environment recentlyagreed a partnership with Ant Financial Services, the Chinese online and mobile financial services company, to promote green finance products.
Getting the fintech community on board is essential. It’s why — along with Ant — we plan to convene a global coalition of fintech leaders to align the sector’s culture and emerging regulations with the needs of sustainability.