- Today’s main news: U.S. credit-card debt hits new record. LendingClub raises its outlook. OnDeck shares rise 17%. Zopa’s disappearing capital from IFISA. Ping An to invest in AI. Blackstone assumes majority stake in Banco Popular’s real estate portfolio. Securities and Exchange Board of India to study impact of fintech on financial markets.
- Today’s main analysis: SoFi bank charter could test status quo.
- Today’s thought-provoking articles: Is the tide turning for LendingClub? The 10 biggest fintech companies in the U.S. Report proposes new ways to get people to invest. The Russian connection to alt lending.
- Credit card debt hits new high. AT: “Making sure I understand, if millennials — the largest living generation — aren’t carrying credit cards (I’ll assume that some do), then most of this debt is from older Americans. Boomers must really love their credit cards.”
- The tide could be turning for LendingClub. AT: “It looks as though it is, but keep in mind that markets fluctuate. There will be a fall again. The question is, by how much? A dip, perhaps. Bit the stock price will fall, and it may rise again. I like seeing LendingClub makes its climb back.”
- Lending Club beats the street and raises its outlook.
- Has Lending Club reached a turning point? AT: “It’s the question burning on everyone’s mind.”
- OnDeck shares rise 17%.
- SoFi bank charter could test community reinvestment status quo. AT: “Could? I think it will. I think the time has come to re-think banking, so I applaud SoFi’s efforts to think outside the box.”
- The 10 biggest fintech companies in America. AT: “The figures come from CB Insights and Pitchbook. But I can’t help but wonder, aren’t they tracking PayPal? Is PayPal not considered a fintech company? I know it’s got a longer history than the word “fintech,” but it seems to me to fit the definition.”
- Betterment introduces new features and pricing plans.
- Expanded credit access results from fintech lending.
- Smartphones may become smart ATM’s with near field communication.
- What investors really want in financial advice services.
- Better Mortgage expands into Florida, its 13th state.
- What to look for in an RECF platform.
- Small Change succeeds in New Orleans.
- Voya expands to mix technology with salesmanship.
- SoFi’s CMO on getting a raise.
- Former Lending Club loan results in judgment.
- Investors remark on disappearing capital from Zopa IFISA. AT: “Technology fails. It’s one of the downsides to fintech. Nevertheless, too many of these types of failures and platforms will lose trust and credibility. It doesn’t appear to be a hacker. Rather, it looks like an internal IT glitch. Probably easily solved with a little investigation.”
- RateSetter report proposes new way to get people investing.
- Ranger Direct Lending continues to be challenged.
- Octopus offers IFISA, interest before it collects. AT: “Excellent marketing scheme. Whatever you have to do to gain an edge.”
- ThinCats receives FCA full authorization.
- Ping An wants to be AI innovation giant.
- Micro-bank micro-credit balance over 100B yuan.
- Insights from the LangDi FinTech Conference.
- Blackstone to nab majority stake in Banco Popular’s real estate portfolio.
- VC’s behind biggest European fintechs to judge PitchIt.
- Lithuania want to be major fintech center.
- New SEBI committee to study fintect impact on financial markets.
- Start-up funding may soon fall under SEBI.
- Rubique appoints new CEO and directors.
- How finance professionals can gain fintech skills.
- Korean P2P lending growth slows in July.
- P2P financing to absorb investors’ demands.
- Amartha draws millennials to invest in micro-business in Indonesia.
- United States
- U.S. Credit-Card Debt Surpasses Record Set at Brink of Crisis (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA
- The tide may be turning for LendingClub (LC) (Markets Insider), Rated: AAA
- Lending Club Beats The Street And Raises Its Outlook (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA
- Has Lending Club Reached A Turning Point? (Benzinga), Rated: AAA
- OnDeck shares rise on sunny outlook for loan growth, profitability (Reuters), Rated: AAA
- SoFi Bank charter could test CRA status quo (Market Intelligence), Rated: AAA
- The 10 Biggest Fintech Companies In America (Forbes), Rated: AAA
- Betterment Introduces New Features And Pricing Plans (Forbes), Rated: A
- Fed study finds expanded credit access resulting from fintech lending (Ballard Spahr), Rated: A
- SMARTPHONES MAY BECOME SMART ATM’S WITH NEAR FIELD COMMUNICATION (Fintech Today), Rated: A
- Robos, digital platforms and human financial advice: What investors really want (Investment News), Rated: A
- Online Lender Better Mortgage Now Available in 13 States as it Expands into Florida (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
- Real Estate Crowdfunding Platforms: What to Look For (Equities.com), Rated: A
- Developer of Vacant Lots in New Orleans Has Crowdfunding Success (Next City), Rated: A
- Mixing technology and old fashioned salesmanship, Voya expands (Financial-Planning.com), Rated: A
- A former Microsoft and Yahoo exec explains how treating your job like a report card can help you get a raise (Business Insider), Rated: B
- Clark County Common Pleas Court cases (Springfield News-Sun), Rated: B
- United Kingdom
- Investors remark on “disappearing capital” from Zopa IFISA due to IT glitch (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA
- Report proposes new ways to get people investing (AltFi), Rated: AAA
- Ranger Direct Lending fund’s woes continue (AltFi), Rated: A
- Octopus the latest firm to offer the peer-to-peer Innovative Finance Isa, promises investors interest before Octopus (City A.M.), Rated: A
- ThinCats Receives Full Authorization By the Financial Conduct Authority (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
- With $ 1b war chest, Ping An set to become AI innovation giant (China Daily), Rated: AAA
- Micro-bank micro-credit balance of over 100 billion, has launched the enterprise loan products “micro-credit” (01Caijing), Rated: A
- LangDi FinTech Conference in Shanghai. The Biggest Fintech Meetup In The World! (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
- European Union
- Blackstone to take majority stake in Banco Popular’s real estate portfolio (PE Hub Network), Rated: AAA
- VC’s behind Zopa, Revolut, Transferwise & Clear Score confirmed for judging panel for PitchIt event (London Loves Business), Rated: A
- Lithuania Seeks to Become Fintech Center as Bank of Lithuania Looks to Launch Regulatory Sandbox (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B
- The Russian Connection (To Alt Lending Globally) (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA
- How this social entrepreneur is bringing banks to the fingertips of the unbanked (Huffington Post), Rated: A
- Australia/New Zealand
- New Zealand advice industry to be overhauled (Financial Standard), Rated: AAA
- ‘Non-bank’ status drives IOOF results (IFA.com.au), Rated: A
- SEBI Constitutes CFRT Committee To Study Impact Of Fintech On Financial Markets (Inc42), Rated: AAA
- Start-up funding may come under SEBI lens (The Hindu), Rated: A
- Rubique Appoints Vodafone Ex- M-Pesa CEO Suresh Sethi & Alexia Yannopoulos of Apis Partners as Directors (PR Newswire), Rated: A
- CFTE is Helping MAS Assist ASEAN Finance Professionals Gain FinTech Skills (Cryptocoins News), Rated: AAA
- P2P lending growth slows in July (Yonhap News), Rated: AAA
- P2P financing industry to absorb investors’ demands (Korea Herald), Rated: A
- Amartha draws millenials to invest in micro-businesses (Digital News Asia), Rated: A
- Vincentian Set to Launch the Region’s First Equity Crowdfuning Startup Company (St. Lucia Times), Rated: AAA
U.S. Credit-Card Debt Surpasses Record Set at Brink of Crisis (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA
U.S. consumer credit-card debt just passed an ominous milestone, beating a record set just before the global financial system almost collapsed in 2008.
Outstanding card loans reached $1.02 trillion in June, data from the Federal Reserve show, as lenders including Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. compete to sign up cardholders who may carry balances — a relatively lucrative business in a prolonged period of low interest rates.
The tide may be turning for LendingClub (LC) (Markets Insider), Rated: AAA
LendingClub on Monday posted its second highest quarterly revenues in its history. And Wall Street has responded.
Net revenue spiked 35% to $139.6 million in the second quarter, beating Wall Street’s average estimate of $136.4 million, according to Thomson Reuters.
Loan originations were up 10%.
Credit Suisse sent out a note to clients Tuesday morning outlining its case for a 25% boost in LendingClub’s stock price.
Lending Club Beats The Street And Raises Its Outlook (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA
By the numbers, the performance was also in line with what investors wanted to see — revenue was up 35 percent to $139.6 million during Q2, a solid beat on the analysts’ consensus estimate of $136.4 million. Originations returned to growth in the second quarter, up 10 percent to $2.15 billion. Meanwhile, operating expenses fell by 12.5 percent to $165.1 million in the quarter.
Revenue for the year — on the strength of that big performance — got an upward revision to the range of $585 million to $600 million, a reasonable pick-up on the previous forecast of $575 million to $595 million.
Has Lending Club Reached A Turning Point? (Benzinga), Rated: AAA
Credit Suisse analysts Stephen Ju and Christopher Ford noted this is the first quarter in about a year in which the company reported year-over-year growth in loan originations. The analysts expect ongoing acceleration throughout the next four quarters, as the company continues to recover.
Canaccord Genuity expects originations to grow sequentially in the third quarter or fourth quarter, aiding revenue growth acceleration in the second half of 2017 and notable sequential margin expansion.
The firm maintains its 2017 earnings per share estimate at 3 cents but nudged up its 2018 earnings per share estimate from 19 cents to 20 cents.
OnDeck shares rise on sunny outlook for loan growth, profitability (Reuters), Rated: AAA
Shares of OnDeck Capital Inc (ONDK.N) rose as much as 17 percent on Monday after the online lender said it had made progress on a plan to cut costs and improve the credit profile of its borrowers, and expects to reach double-digit loan growth again by next year.
SoFi Bank charter could test CRA status quo (Market Intelligence), Rated: AAA
Social Finance Inc., or SoFi, on June 6 applied for a bank charter with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
S&P Global Market Intelligence research shows SoFi originated 1,160 mortgages in 2016, with only two of those mortgages, or 0.2%, made in distressed or underserved tracts, a CRA measure. Across the U.S., 2.0% of all mortgages were in underserved areas that year.
Of the $8 billion in total loans that SoFi said it originated in 2016, about $810 million were property loans, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. None of the mortgages issued by the parent company were in SoFi Bank’s proposed CRA assessment area of Salt Lake City and nearby areas.
Fewer than 1.00% of SoFi’s consumer loans are made to borrowers in Utah, according to reports for the company’s asset-backed securities issued in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The securitization documents cover $4.6 billion in principal loan balances.
SoFi’s CRA strategy will revolve around financial literacy, education and scholarships, according to its application. SoFi stated it will measure the success of its CRA plan in terms of employee hours devoted to community service, the number of scholarships awarded and the percent of its investment pool that goes into Utah Housing Bonds.
The 10 Biggest Fintech Companies In America (Forbes), Rated: AAA
Financial technology companies in the U.S. raised $3.5 billion in the first half of 2017, according to KPMG, as investors rushed to place bets in buzzy sectors like insurance and digital currencies.
The U.S. is now home to 13 fintech unicorns who have scored valuations of at least $1 billion.
- Stripe – Value: $9.2 billion
- SoFi – Value: $4.3 billion
- GreenSky – Value: $3.6 billion
- Credit Karma – Value: $3.5 billion
- Oscar – Value: $2.7 billion
- Avant – Value: $2 billion
- Zenefits – Value: $2 billion
- Prosper – Value: $1.9 billion
- AvidXchange – Value: $1.4 billion
- Robinhood – Value: $1.3 billion
Betterment Introduces New Features And Pricing Plans (Forbes), Rated: A
Betterment’s three new features went live in late July. The features are:
- Financial Advice Via App: Through Betterment’s mobile app, clients can now message a licensed financial expert. Experts can answer questions like how to set goals, which tax features to use, and how much risk to take in investing.
- Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) Portfolio Options: These options give customers a way to invest in a globally diversified portfolio of companies considered socially responsible.
- Combining Plus and Premium Plans: Betterment is now combining its Plus and Premium plans, which allow customers to now make unlimited phone calls to certified financial professionals. The new, combined plan charges a .4% annual fee.
The first feature, the ability to get financial advice through an app, attempts to address a big issue with robo advisors. Many investors want a human touch. They want to talk to an advisor from time to time. This will no doubt be true during the next bear market. Betterment’s new feature attempts to address this need.
The new pricing plan will benefit investors who were already using the higher-level Betterment plans. Those who were Plus customers can now get more personalized advice for the same fee and those who were Premium customers are paying less for the same service–always a good thing.
The Premium plan now gives customers access to more holistic investing advice. This advice can run the full scope of your investments, from your 401(k) to real estate to individual stocks to your Betterment portfolio.
Fed study finds expanded credit access resulting from fintech lending (Ballard Spahr), Rated: A
The study’s key findings include:
- The fintech lender’s consumer lending activities penetrated into areas that could benefit from additional credit supply, such as areas that have lost a disproportionate number of bank branches and highly concentrated banking markets.
- Consumers presenting the same credit risk could obtain credit at lower rates through the fintech lender than through traditional credit cards offered by banks.
- The lender’s use of alternative credit data allowed consumers with few or inaccurate credit records (based on FICO scores) to access credit at lower prices, thereby resulting in enhanced financial inclusion.
SMARTPHONES MAY BECOME SMART ATM’S WITH NEAR FIELD COMMUNICATION (Fintech Today), Rated: A
You may no longer need to worry about carrying your ATM card with you everywhere as long as your bank’s ATM and smartphone are equipped with near field communication technology (NFC). NFC, a method of wireless data transfer that detects and enables technology to communicate, is reportedly being rolled out at banks across the country. Financial institutions believe that cardless or “Smart ATM’s” are the wave of the future and they are enabled as long as ATM’s and customers have a smartphone or mobile device equipped with NFC.
It’s been estimated that 2.2 billion smartphones will be equipped with NFC by 2020.
Robos, digital platforms and human financial advice: What investors really want (Investment News), Rated: A
The emergence of robo-advice and robo-investing platforms in recent years has led many traditional advisory firms to place a greater emphasis on their digital footprints. A growing number, in fact, are moving to offer digital versions of their “human” services. The 2017 InvestmentNews Adviser Technology Study, for example, showed that 7% of independent advisory firms offered a robo-advice option at the end of 2016, compared with just 3% two years earlier. At the same time, 19% of the firms that do not offer a robo-advice option intend to introduce one in 2017—nearly double the number that indicated that intention in 2015.
Only about 4% of the mass affluent and high-net-worth individuals in our survey reported that they use an automated investing or robo-advice tool.
For context, some 49% of individuals in our study currently use a financial adviser; the balance are self-directed investors.
Online Lender Better Mortgage Now Available in 13 States as it Expands into Florida (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
Better Mortgage is now available in 13 different states as it has received a license to lend to house hunters in Florida. The Sunshine state is an important addition to the online lenders services as Florida is a popular vacation home state.
Better Mortgage says it is continuing to expand its footprint in the US. The lender is now available and improving access to homeownership in 13 markets including; Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington, DC, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington. Better Mortgage says that it is seeing particularly strong uptake in Seattle, Washington, San Francisco, California, and Washington, D.C.
Real Estate Crowdfunding Platforms: What to Look For (Equities.com), Rated: A
While each offers a unique focus and value proposition to investors, platforms have now consolidated into several main categories of business model:
- eREITs: Fundrise and RealtyMogul, two of the original players the real estate crowdfunding space, have pivoted to offering semi-blind funds that aggregate properties throughout the country.
- Commercial equity investing: probably the closest to the original ideal of real estate crowdfunding, these platforms offer CRE equity opportunities to accredited investors, allowing them to participate in high-upside, larger commercial projects. While the return potential is often great, these tend to be the longer term and riskier than other RECF investments.
- Debt investing: Some platforms take some or all of an existing real estate loan, secured by a deed on the underlying property, and syndicate it out to a network of individual investors at a fixed rate of return.
Some platforms (like EquityMultiple, see below) perform their own diligence on investments, which should give you some comfort as an investor. Even so, you’ll want to understand some key components of any deal you consider, and be sure it aligns with your investing objectives before pulling the trigger. Here are some of the main things to consider:
- Risk Factors – Examples of risk factors are tight construction timelines, a precarious labor market in the area, an unsubstantial track record or aggressive leverage on the part of the Sponsor who originated the deal.
- Payout Structure – Be sure to understand where your investments fits in the capital stack, and what order you will be repaid principal and profits relative to the Sponsor and other LP investors.
- Cash Flow and Liquidity – Simply looking at how many dollars you’re expected to receive over the lifetime of a deal (the simple return) or even a time-weighted return (IRR – internal rate of return), won’t give a complete picture of the timing and magnitude of returns.
Developer of Vacant Lots in New Orleans Has Crowdfunding Success (Next City), Rated: A
Small Change, a real estate crowdfunding portal, recently completed the sale of its first-ever offering open to all investors — and raised $95,000. Thirty-nine investors put in an average of $2,435. The minimum investment was $500. The money will help OJT (Office of Jonathan Tate), a New Orleans-based developer, finance the construction of two affordable single-family homes, on vacant lots.
The homes will be in New Orleans’ Milan neighborhood, which is two-thirds black and one-third white, and has a median income around $33,000.
Mixing technology and old fashioned salesmanship, Voya expands (Financial-Planning.com), Rated: A
So it has to move beyond the perception that it is a singular service provider, says Voya Financial Advisors’s Tom Halloran, president of its broker-dealer. One way the firm is doing that is by tying together its institutional businesses with retail, mixing technological innovation with old fashioned salesmanship, even considering the deployment of a robo advice platform.
A former Microsoft and Yahoo exec explains how treating your job like a report card can help you get a raise (Business Insider), Rated: B
In fact, it’s up to you to track your performance and ensure that your compensation reflects it, said Joanne Bradford, chief marketing officer of online lender SoFi, on a recent episode of the “So Money” podcast.
Clark County Common Pleas Court cases (Springfield News-Sun), Rated: B
Velocity Investments, LLC, assignee of Lending Club Corp., v. Joshua R. Hawk, judgment for $17,947.
Investors remark on “disappearing capital” from Zopa IFISA due to IT glitch (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA
SEVERAL lenders who invested through Zopa’s Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) have complained that small amounts of money were disappearing from their account.
The issue occurred when funds were invested in the ISA Plus product and appeared to be missing capital rather than negative interest, investors on the P2P Independent Forum said.
Zopa is understood to be rectifying the technical issue.
Report proposes new ways to get people investing (AltFi), Rated: AAA
A new report on savings and investment suggests that savers are missing out on billions of pounds by spurning investment opportunities, including peer-to-peer lending. The report is supported by RateSetter, one of the UK’s largest P2P operators, and was produced by the Social Market Foundation think tank.
The report found that savers are holding more than £200bn in cash above and beyond what is referred to as the “rainy day” level. “Rainy day” funds – which are held in cash in case of emergency – are defined by the report as three months’ worth of income. The Social Market Foundation says that this idle pot of £200bn could have generated returns of £94bn over the past five years, had it been invested in the FTSE 100, or £40bn, if invested via P2P lending.
Ranger Direct Lending fund’s woes continue (AltFi), Rated: A
The £240m Ranger Direct Lending fund was announced its latest dividend of 24.26 pence per ordinary share for the 3-month period to 30 June 2017, its lowest in more than a year.
Its latest numbers show returns were again comparable to the last few months. This was due to a combination of expenses such as legal fees and higher than expected cash levels. In 2017, excluding the estimated dividend mentioned above, a total of 55.44 pence per share has been paid in dividends to ordinary shareholders. In 2016, a total of 89.61 pence per share was paid in dividends to ordinary shareholders.
Octopus the latest firm to offer the peer-to-peer Innovative Finance Isa, promises investors interest before Octopus (City A.M.), Rated: A
Investment firm Octopus seems to have its tentacles in all the pies, as it has today become the latest business to offer an Innovative Finance Isa.
Octopus is also aiming to dismiss the risks associated with peer-to-peer lending by contributing five per cent of every loan from its own pocket. Any losses suffered will come out of this sum first, meaning investors can get their initial investment back plus any interest due to them before Octopus earns anything.
Investors will be able to put as little as £10 in the tax-free product, and up to their annual Isa allowance which currently stands at £20,000.
ThinCats Receives Full Authorization By the Financial Conduct Authority (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
ThinCats, an alternative lending industry leader, announced on Tuesday it has received full authorization by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). According to the online lender, the approval highlights its commitment to protecting consumers and also developing the alternative finance industry as a vital source of capital for businesses and income for investors.
With $ 1b war chest, Ping An set to become AI innovation giant (China Daily), Rated: AAA
Chinese financial giant Ping An Insurance (Group) Co will spend more than 7.77 billion yuan ($1.16 billion) on technology research and development this year, and artificial intelligence will be the focus of that R&D, according to a senior executive of the company.
Established in 2008, Ping An Technology has about 4,000 technology workers and has paid attention to R&D in cognition, robot advisory and cloud businesses. Their applications are mainly used in finance and healthcare industries; up to now, there have been more than 200 application scenarios.
Micro-bank micro-credit balance of over 100 billion, has launched the enterprise loan products “micro-credit” (01Caijing), Rated: A
On the evening of August 7, the public bankers issued a friend said that the balance of micro-loan loans over 100 billion. According to the public bank in 2016 annual report, the balance of micro-loan loans 7 months increase of nearly 300%.
In addition, July 16, the public bank retail credit director Fang Zhenyu Lundi summit speech revealed that the balance of microfinance loans 76 billion yuan, which means that the balance of 72 days of microfluice increased by 24 billion yuan. At the same time, he also revealed that the daily loan loans to 150,000 pen, up to 20 to 300,000 pen, the daily repayment of the number of 200,000 pen, a single loan approval time is 0.3 seconds, almost real-time approval. In the allocation of talent, the public bank IT department staff accounted for 57%, background managers accounted for 6%, business and support staff accounted for 37%.
LangDi FinTech Conference in Shanghai. The Biggest Fintech Meetup In The World! (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
Last year, the conference had a massive showing of over 1,300 attendees. This year, the conference nearly doubled to 2,400 attendees. There was hardly any place to stand when Soul Htite of DianRong and Renaud Laplache of Upgrade took the main stage to talk about Fintech entrepreneurship.
Gopher Asset Management had investment associates in just about every session at the conference looking for the next investment opportunity. Gopher is a subsidiary of Noah Holding Limited (NOAH:NYSE), one of the biggest wealth management companies in China with a current market cap of USD $1.7 billion.
Galaxy Internet, another Chinese venture capital firm is actively seeking investment opportunities in the area of finance, ecommerce, payments and big data.
Borrowell is owning the Canadian market in a big way. They just raised a $12 million round. Borrowell is helping Canadian’s to build credit starting with affordable loans. In a short amount of time, Borrowell has amassed over 300,000 borrowers and is looking to expand into other markets.
Jack Quigley, Founder and CEO of CrowdFundUp. He’s probably the hardest working man in Fintech. He’s constantly making deals and connecting dots. He’s 100% committed to China and recently moved to Shanghai and I think he’s not leaving until he brings home the trophy. I visited his office in Shanghai, overlooking a bustling city. CrowdFundUp will be China’s gateway into commercial real estate in Australia.
Blackstone to take majority stake in Banco Popular’s real estate portfolio (PE Hub Network), Rated: AAA
Banco Popular S.A. (‘Popular’) has today approved the sale of a majority stake in its real estate portfolio to Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe V (‘Blackstone’). The agreement has been reached following a competitive process in which three international companies with long track records in the management of real estate assets presented offers. Blackstone was selected as the successful bidder after submitting the best offer in terms of both its value and management plan.
The agreement was confirmed after the European Union Directorate General for Competition today approved the acquisition of Popular by Banco Santander S.A. (‘Santander’) with no restrictions.
The transaction will involve the creation of a company to which Banco Popular will transfer assets with an aggregate gross book value of approximately €30 billion, as well as 100% of the share capital of Banco Popular’s real estate management company, Aliseda.
The valuation attributed to the Spanish assets of the business (e.g. properties, loans and tax assets, not including Aliseda) is approximately €10 billion. This is consistent with the valuation and provisions made by Santander during the acquisition of Popular and does not, therefore, result in any material capital gain or loss for Santander or Popular. The final valuation is subject to change depending on the assets remaining within the business at closure and following the integration of Aliseda.
Blackstone will own a majority 51% stake in the new company while also assuming management responsibilities, while Banco Popular will own the remaining 49% stake. As a result, the aforementioned assets will no longer be consolidated on Banco Popular’s balance sheet.
VC’s behind Zopa, Revolut, Transferwise & Clear Score confirmed for judging panel for PitchIt event (London Loves Business), Rated: A
Representatives from Venture Capitalists: Seedcamp, Blenheim Chalcot, CommerzVentures, and Balderton Capital will form the judging panel of experienced VCs from and around Europe.
Lithuania Seeks to Become Fintech Center as Bank of Lithuania Looks to Launch Regulatory Sandbox (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B
Lithuania is the latest country joining the Fintech revolution by recognizing the importance of fostering a regulatory environment that is conducive to change and challenges established norms. The Bank of Lithuania is out with a statement regarding the launch of a sponsored Fintech Sandbox.
The following measures are will apply:
- Relatively easy and low-cost authorization process: following submission of all necessary documents, it takes only 3 months for the Bank of Lithuania to take a decision on the issuance of an electronic money or payment institution license. In other EU countries, the process may take 12 months and more.
- Access to the Bank of Lithuania payment infrastructure for non-banking sector companies planning to provide payment services, thus avoiding a middleman.
- Newcomer program. The Bank of Lithuania applies a one-stop shop principle for meetings and consultations with potential financial market participants.
- Specialized banking license. In order to establish a bank in Lithuania that would provide usual banking services, the lowest initial capital requirement in the entire euro area – EUR 1 million – is applied. This is five times less than the requirement applied to banks that provide the full range of services, including investment ones.
The Russian Connection (To Alt Lending Globally) (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA
ID Finance Co-Founders Boris Batine and Alexander Dunaev were far from newcomers to the world of finance when they started up their business in 2012. Long before founding a data science, credit scoring and digital finance company, the Russian-born and U.K.-educated entrepreneurs met while working abroad at Renaissance Capital and Deutsche Bank.
And so, in 2012, with only a few hundred thousand of their own dollars to get up and running, ID Finance launched in one of those underserved markets — their home market of Russia.
By 2015, the firm was profitable, and in 2016, it officially relocated it headquarters to Barcelona, Spain, one of three nations outside Russia ID Finance has expanded its efforts into — Belarus and Brazil being the other two.
These days, the firm originates 50,000 new loans a month — loans that it mostly finances off its own balance sheet, as opposed to selling them off on a marketplace. As of February of this year, the firm raised $50 million in debt from a consortium of banks to fund further expansion in South America.
A New $200 Million Fund
As ID Finance has expanded around the world — and partnered with various FIs — its founders realized that there are a host of small businesses that are simply being underdeveloped because they are almost invisible to investors.
Working with Elbrus Capital Fund Manager Yury Popov and asset management company Da Vinci Capital, the FinTech Credit Fund is being jointly offered as a $200 million debt finance fund aimed at FinTech companies focused on alt lending innovation. The funding from the credit fund, according to Batine, is aimed at helping up-and-coming FinTech lenders fund their own loans — and finance their loan portfolios.
“The alternative lending market is worth a potential $2 trillion, and we see a huge opportunity to back the billion dollar companies of tomorrow focused on digital lending,” Dunaev said.
How this social entrepreneur is bringing banks to the fingertips of the unbanked (Huffington Post), Rated: A
Humaniq was launched in 2016 with a vision to build a world where the unbanked and underbanked around the world also have access to the banking and financial transactions. An estimated 2 billion people can be brought under the umbrella of financial inclusion with Humaniq’s services.
Tell us more about Humaniq and the problem you solve?
Humaniq is on a mission to bring new mobile digital services and financial inclusion solutions to the 3.5 billion unbanked / under banked globally who have no access to the digital economy.
How does Humaniq work, especially with respect to privacy and security?
Humaniq offers a biometric blockchain app that can be used in any simple smartphone device.
The Humaniq LITE app is part of a broader humanitarian capitalism venture. Humaniq has a digital currency tied to it, known as HMQ.
Who’s your target audience and how exactly do you help?
We are working with emergent economies – where people live on USD$2.50 a day. Many of them do not have documentation and have had little or no education.
Our first big pilot will be in Ghana with local and international organisations, targeting 18 to 40-year-old low-income smartphone users and merchants in suburban areas including the capital city of Accra.
How did you acquire your first customer and how long did that take?
We did various test in India and Africa with previous test versions of our app. We are also working with Brazilian organizations.
With regards to funding, how did you fund your business? How hard was it and how much time did it take to acquire those funds?
Our business model has thrived on the P2P innovation and blockchain driven crypto economics. We built our model on the back of a crypto, Ethereum driven smart contract Initial Coin Offering(ICO).
New Zealand advice industry to be overhauled (Financial Standard), Rated: AAA
The New Zealand government is looking to remove the distinction between class and personal advice, as well as allow the provision of digital advice as it seeks to overhaul the country’s regulatory regime for financial advisers.
Unlike the FA Act, the new Bill enables the provision of more types of advice by being technology-neutral, lifting the existing restrictions around advice needing to be provided by a human adviser.
In turn, this allows for the provision of robo-advice and works to future-proof the legislation for technological developments. It also serves to increase the New Zealand population’s access to quality financial advice.
‘Non-bank’ status drives IOOF results (IFA.com.au), Rated: A
IOOF has credited the structure of its “non-bank-aligned” dealer groups and “open architecture” culture with a dramatic increase in revenue inflows from its financial advice business.
The results reflect a 131 per cent year-on-year increase in advice net inflows, according to a statement from IOOF, with $3.0 billion in total advice net inflows for the 2017 year.
SEBI Constitutes CFRT Committee To Study Impact Of Fintech On Financial Markets (Inc42), Rated: AAA
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has formed a Committee on Financial and Regulatory Technologies (CFRT) to examine ongoing and medium-term trends related to fintech in the securities and financial markets worldwide.
Thus, regulators are faced with the challenges as well as opportunities to evolve their functioning more effectively through the adoption of new technology solutions. It is in this context that the CFRT committee will help the SEBI deal with relevant risks and challenges.
The Committee would examine, deliberate and advise the SEBI on an ongoing basis on the following issues:
- Recent and medium term trends (within next 5 years) in fintech developments in securities market worldwide.
- Opportunities and challenges from new fintech solutions and its impact on Indian Securities Market.
- Fintech solutions for further widening and deepening of Indian securities market.
- Approach and framework for the regulatory sandbox in Indian market conditions to facilitate the adoption of fintech and promote financial innovations.
- Preparing the Indian securities market and regulatory framework to adapt to new fintech solutions while promoting market integrity, market development, consumer protection and managing change, business models and market disruptions.
- Assessing technological solutions for SEBI regulatory functions viz. information management and data mining, risk management including cyber security, intermediary supervision, consumer protection, etc., through the application of new technological solutions like applying distributed ledger technology, Big Data, data analytics, Artificial Intelligence, machine learning etc.
- Technology capacity building by Indian securities market in general and SEBI in particular.
Start-up funding may come under SEBI lens (The Hindu), Rated: A
The Committee on Financial and Regulatory Technologies will, among other things, deliberate on financial technology solutions for “further widening and deepening of the Indian securities market” through traditional and alternative platforms, including peer to peer lending and equity crowd-funding.
While questioning the manner in which these entities help start-ups raise funds, the regulator has said that any violation would be “construed as organising an unrecognised stock exchange” and that SEBI would be “constrained to initiate action.”
Under the current legal framework, issue of shares to more than 200 persons constitutes a public issue and needs SEBI approval.
Rubique Appoints Vodafone Ex- M-Pesa CEO Suresh Sethi & Alexia Yannopoulos of Apis Partners as Directors (PR Newswire), Rated: A
Rubique, the one-stop online marketplace providing technology-enabled end-to-end solutions to financing needs of individuals & SMEs has announced the appointment of two directors- Suresh Sethi, EX-CEO & Managing Director of Vodafone M-Pesa and Alexia Yannopoulos Director at Apis Partners LLP.
CFTE is Helping MAS Assist ASEAN Finance Professionals Gain FinTech Skills (Cryptocoins News), Rated: AAA
The Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE) has revealed that it is setting up an international hub in Singapore designed to aid finance professionals gain the necessary skills in FinTech.
Working closely with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), CFTE has been formalizing plans to expand its education platform to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), according to a report from FinTech Finance.
CFTE is to deliver courses that cover a range of areas in the finance industry. These include artificial intelligence, application programming interfaces (APIs), coding, blockchain, and RegTech. They will either be delivered online or via in-class training.
P2P lending growth slows in July (Yonhap News), Rated: AAA
South Korea’s peer-to-peer lending growth slowed in July after financial regulators asked lenders to tighten guidelines for individual investors, industry data showed Tuesday.
According to data compiled by the Korea P2P Financial Association, lending between peers grew by 104.7 billion won (US$93.1 million) in July to a cumulative 1.2 trillion won.
In comparison, P2P lending grew by 172.8 billion won in June.
P2P financing industry to absorb investors’ demands (Korea Herald), Rated: A
It is especially likely to absorb the investor cluster who, under the government’s new restrictive measures on real estate transactions, are swiftly turning away from banks and seeking for an alternative source of investment income, according to industry watchers.
In late May, the association enforced a set of guidelines, setting a 10 million won ceiling on the investment per business unit, responding to the government’s gesture to protect investors from potential dangers of the new investment platform.
Amartha draws millenials to invest in micro-businesses (Digital News Asia), Rated: A
INDONESIAN peer-to-peer (P2P) lending marketplace PT Amartha Mikro Fintek (Amartha) encourages and targets “millenials” to invest in micro-businesses and SMEs through the Amartha Short Movie Festival.
The Amartha Short Movie Festival is a competition divided into two categories which are short documentaries with the theme empowering micro-businesses and short fiction movies with online peer-to-peer lending as the theme. Applications are open from August 8 to October 9, 2017.
Vincentian Set to Launch the Region’s First Equity Crowdfuning Startup Company (St. Lucia Times), Rated: AAA
Global Domination Capital is set to be the regions’ first fintech startup company, offering equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending solutions to the OECS countries and the CARICOM member states. This includes Barbados, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago and The Turks and Caicos Islands.
Global Domination Capital is expected go live and accept both new investors and borrowers to the platform by late September.