Daily News Digest Featured News

Tuesday January 16 2018, Daily News Digest

multi-factor portfolio performance
Source: FactorResearch

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United States

Why Goldman Sachs wants to finance your bathroom remodel (MoneyWatch), Rated: AAA

Goldman Sachs (GS) will start offering home improvement loans to borrowers this month, its latest push into the world of consumer lending — a business the bank has avoided for much of its nearly 150-year history.

The home improvement loans are structured similarly to the debt consolidation loans that Goldman already offers. They are non-secured personal loans with interest rates lower than credit cards but higher than cheaper forms of home financing like home equity lines of credit, commonly referred to as a HELOC. Goldman executives believe the ability to quickly finance up to a $40,000 project without the month long process of getting a HELOC will be attractive to consumers.

Goldman has already offered home improvement loans indirectly. Some Marcus borrowers were putting the cost of pools, hot tubs or other renovations on a credit card and then taking out a loan to pay it off. By offering home improvement loans directly, Goldman cuts out the middlemen — the credit card companies.

Lending Club Loans Analysis (Kaggle), Rated: AAA

  • 67.8% of loans are current, 23.4% were fully paid. This leaves 8.8% of other kind of status
  • 59.1% of loans were requested for debt consolidation, a form of refinancing, and 23.2% for credit card payments. In total, 82.3% of loans are used to pay other debts
  • The majority of loans were graded B or C (28.7% and 27)
LendingClub loan amount by status
Source: Kaggle

Plot loan status, purposes and grades

In [8]:
Desc(loan_data$loan_status, main = "Loan Status", plotit = TRUE)
Desc(loan_data$purpose, main = "Loan purposes", plotit = TRUE)
Desc(loan_data$grade, main = "Loan grades", plotit = TRUE)
loan grades
Source: Kaggle

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Marlette Funding Trust 2018-1 (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to four classes of notes issued by Marlette Funding Trust 2018-1 (MFT 2018-1). This is a $393.6 million consumer loan ABS transaction.

Preliminary Ratings Assigned: Marlette Funding Trust 2018-1

Class Rating Class Principal
A AA (sf) $261,848,000
B A (sf) $58,748,000
C BBB (sf) $38,815,000
D BB (sf) $34,200,000


Factor investing can be considered one of the beautiful theories of the investment world as it is backed by a significant amount of empirical research and can be implemented by investors across markets and asset classes. The gang of ugly facts is that most of the research is based on backtesting, which is full of inherent biases, and investors get charged a variety of fees for accessing the returns from factor investing.

multi-factor portfolio performance
Source: FactorResearch
fund expenses
Source: FactorResearch

The traditional management fee was 2.0% per annum, although that has started to decrease in recent years and absolute return-focused UCITS funds are more likely to charge 1.5%.

Historically the performance fee was 20% of profits above a high watermark, although this has also started to decrease in recent years.

The net return of 3.3% per annum post all fees can still be considered attractive for a product that has zero correlation with equity markets and therefore is an interesting addition to an equity-centric portfolio from a diversification perspective.

returns per annum
Source: FactorResearch

The founder of PayPal uses data to optimize every aspect of his life — and he says being healthier comes down to a single habit (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Levchin is a cofounder of PayPal and the CEO of online lending service Affirm. On an episode of Business Insider’s podcast, “Success! How I Did It,” Levchin told US editor-in-chief Alyson Shontell about the philosophy behind his health and fitness regimen.

That philosophy boils down to one word: consistency.

PeerIQ’s Securitization Tracker 4Q2017 (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA


  • Ten marketplace lending securitizations priced this quarter totaling $4.4 Bn, a record for quarterly issuance, representing 100% growth in issuance over 4Q2016.  To date, cumulative issuance equals $28.2Bn across 106 deals. PeerIQ expects issuance to grow by 30% to $18 Bn in 2018.
  • We observe an unprecedented 18 months of non-stop issuance. Markets remain in a “risk-on” mode and MPL investor appetite continues to grow.
  • Spreads tightened this quarter, and the spread curve flattened as investor demand for B and C pieces continues to be strong. 4Q17 saw a supportive macro and policy environment with credit spreads tightening across asset classes.
  • All deals this quarter were rated.  DBRS continues to lead the rating agency league table, while Kroll dominates the unsecured consumer sub-segment and we continue to see increased engagement from the top 3 ratings agencies.
  • Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and Morgan Stanley continue to top the issuance league tables with over 49% of MPL ABS transaction volume.
  • Spreads at issuance are tighter in the consumer space across credit tranches, although senior tranches priced marginally wider. In the student space, As priced 55bps tighter, while Bs and Cs priced 94bps and 240bps tighter respectively.  Spreads in warehouse financing remain stable.
  • SoFi issued the largest consumer and student deals ever seen in the MPL space. SOFI 2017-F was backed by $769 Mn student loan collateral, and its senior tranches were rated AAA by major rating agencies.
marketplace securitizations PeerIQ
Source: PeerIQ

Download and read the full report here.

Strong Equity Markets, Consumer Debt Levels, PeerIQ Growth (PeerIQ), Rated: A

Equity and credit markets continued their march higher and tighter this week, buoyed by JP Morgan’s earnings. Although the bank reported a lower than estimated EPS of $1.07 due to a $2.4 Bn 4th quarter charge related to the new tax law, it indicated that its effective tax rate will fall from 32% to 19%. Revenue from fixed income trading across the street continues to disappoint, with unadjusted revenues down 17% yoy, which has pushed banks to focus on more consumer lending and fee-revenue from asset management.

Kevin Wack at American Banker reports that consumer credit reached an all-time high of $1.023 Tr.

In regulatory news, the Trump administration is weighing a revision to the antiquated CRA rules.

household debt
Source: PeerIQ

We are pleased to announce a few of the recent additions to the PeerIQ team.

Kevin Walsh – Chief Commercial Officer

Kevin is responsible for new revenue generation, forging strategic partnerships, and managing our sales, marketing, and client delivery teams.

Ashish Dole, CFA – Head of Research

Ashish leads the research team, setting the course of our core program, overseeing asset execution, supporting credit and valuation modeling, and otherwise generating actionable insights for clients from PeerIQ datasets and other resources.

Jason Harris, CFA – Director of Client Delivery

Jason partners with our clients to ensure their success.

Mike Wohl – Product Manager

As a Product Manager at PeerIQ, Mike leads cross-functional teams for significant platform builds and new features.

Nate Aiken, CFA – Product Manager

Nate is a product manager at PeerIQ, where he leads the build of major platform features, with a focus on structuring, credit facility management, and other liability-side tools.

Huayong Zhou, Ph.D. – Quantitative Engineer

Amazon’s Loaned $ 3B To SMBs Since 2017 (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

According to Amazon, SMBs come from all over the United States and from more than 130 countries around the globe. Of the billions of dollars in orders from those businesses during 2017, more than 1 billion occurred during the holiday season. Among last year’s highlights, Amazon Lending surpassed $3 billion lent to small businesses since the program started in 2011.

Texas Fintech Alkami Secures $ 70 Million Through Series D Funding Round Led by General Atlantic (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Alkami, a Texas-based fintech, has secured $70 million through its Series D Funding Round, which was led by General Atlantic with participation from existing investors S3 Ventures, Argonaut Private Equity, and a number of other strategic fintech investors.

Short-term loans can have long-term consequences (Bankrate), Rated: A

It’s a way many people who are living hand to mouth might scrounge together emergency funds for car repairs or medical bills without needing a loan from a bank. But short-term loans are fraught with risks—high fees and interest rates, brief repayment periods, potentially unscrupulous lenders—and should be approached with great caution.

How Banking-as-a-Platform Propels Cross River Bank (Wharton), Rated: A

Nair: Typically, when we think of banks, especially in the start-up world, we don’t think of them as fintech firms. But you have investors from Silicon Valley noted for tech investments. What makes Cross River a fintech firm, as opposed to a traditional bank with a charter?

Gade: We are not trying to tell the world that we are not a bank. We are a bank. However, the way we view banking in the 21st century and beyond is radically different from how people typically perceive banks. So, instead of positioning ourselves as a fintech play, we are positioning ourselves as a new bank play, somewhere between what a bank should be and what fintech aspires to be.

Nair: What do you think has prevented or slowed some of this within existing large banks? Why does the opportunity that you are tapping into exist at all?

Gade: Staying small and nimble has helped us stay under the radar and adapt rapidly to the regulatory requirements and technology advancements the market requires and demands. In the case of large banks, whether they are money centers, international banks or correspondent banks … if they venture into a new arena, it may cannibalize their own business. For instance, marketplace lending would be a threat to the credit card business of most of the large credit card issuers.

Nair: Marketplace lending is obviously an area you have the strongest momentum in — since you started your assets have grown beyond half a billion. With the larger banks thinking about these alliances that you mentioned, how are you working with them to make the alliances smoother or easier for them?

Gade: We specialize in originating loans on behalf of marketplace lenders. I would put them in two different categories. One, the pure fintechs, such as Silicon Valley companies … that spread out probably in the last three to five years. These include Lending Club, Upstart and others. We have another category, which is the legacy of finance companies that have been doing a phenomenal job at serving consumers at various facets of the financial product offering. For example, large mortgage originators like Quicken Loans, Loan Depot and many others. So, we have two kinds of marketplace lender originators. The model is the same. You utilize a bank to originate your loans, handle the compliance and the payment delivery to the consumers in quasi-real time.

Chase is rolling out advice-driven ‘Express’ branches next month (Tearsheet), Rate: A

Next month, the largest U.S. bank by assets will roll out six “Everyday Express” branches each in New York City and Culver City, California with a Digital Advice Bar to help customers learn how to engage with Chase digital products and video conferencing to connect customers with companion branch bankers for more complex matters. The idea is the branches will be smaller and offer simpler services like account openings. For more complex things like a home loan, customers would have to videoconference with a banker, or just go to a regular branch.

Merrill Lynch partners with fintech on texting service (American Banker), Rated: B

Bank of America Merrill Lynch on Thursday announced it has partnered with the tech firm CellTrust on a new client-to-adviser text messaging service.

Book Review: P2P Investing 101 by Stuart Lustman (Huffington Post), Rated: A

P2P Investing 101, by Stu Lustman of P2PLendingExpert.com, suggests that investors should be diversifying into “alternative assets,” particularly peer-to-peer aka marketplace lending. The book is aimed at both beginners and more experienced investors who may not have explored this asset class before.

p2p investing

Robo-Advisers Are Coming to Consulting and Corporate Strategy (Harvard Business Review), Rated: A

It’s clear that robo-advisors and AI play an important and growing role in the financial services industry, but a question remains.  Will robo-advisors disrupt corporate capital allocation the same way they have personal capital allocation? And, will they shake up the trillion-dollar corporate consulting and advisory industry?

study by Deloitte estimated that “assets under automated management” (including hybrid offerings) in the U.S. will grow to U.S. $5 trillion to U.S. $7 trillion by the year 2025 from about U.S.$300 billion today. This would represent between 10% and 15% of total retail financial assets under management. At the end of 2016, Fitch Ratings estimated that all robo-advisors managed under U.S.$100B in assets, and predicts double-digit growth in assets under management over the next several years. Finally, A.T. Kearney predicts that assets under “robo-management” will total $2.2 trillion by 2021.

Startup Aims to Securitize Crypto Loans (Hedge Fund Alert), Rated: A

SALT Lending uses a couple channels to fund investors wishing to borrow against their holdings of digital currencies. On Dec. 27, the firm launched its Crypto Credit Opportunity Fund, which booked $7 million of loans in its first nine days and expects to originate about $50 million more in the next few weeks.

Based on its current origination rate, SALT aims to issue some $200 million of bonds backed by cryptocurrency loans in the fourth quarter.

Supreme Court rules Nevada payday lenders can’t sue borrowers on second loans (The Nevada Independent), Rate: A

In a reversal from a state District Court decision, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled in a 6-1 opinion in December that high interest lenders can’t file civil lawsuits against borrowers who take out a second loan to pay off a defaulted initial, high-interest loan.

The court’s ruling focused on a specific area of Nevada’s laws around high-interest loans — which under a 2005 state law include any loans made above 40 percent interest and have a bevy of regulations on repayment and renewing loans.

Are Online Mortgage Lenders the Best Way to Buy a Home? (Reator.com), Rated: B

Online mortgages are growing in popularity, particularly for younger home buyers: One recent survey by NerdWallet found that a full 64% of millennial mortgage applicants would prefer to get it all done digitally.

  • Pro: It’s easier to comparison shop
  • Pro: Online lenders often offer lower rates and fees
  • Pro: You can get an online mortgage fast
  • Con: There’s less personalized customer service
  • Con: Online lenders aren’t ideal for complicated home loans
  • Con: Mortgage lending scams are rampant online

5 Unbeatable Tips to Find the Lowest Student Loan Interest Rates (Student Loan Hero), Rated: B

But all her learning has come at a price. To finance these degrees, Randall borrowed over $100,000 in student loans with interest rates ranging from 3.25% to 7.90%.

“Right now, about 50 percent goes to interest,” said Randall.

  1. Learn about your federal and private student loan options
  2. Get an instant rate quote from multiple lenders
  3. Decide between a fixed and variable interest rate
  4. Ask about student loan interest discounts

Here are our top student loan lenders of 2018!

1 = Citizens Disclaimer.2 = CollegeAve Autopay Disclaimer: The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
3.46% –
Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents VISIT CITIZENS
2.93% –
Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents VISIT COMMONBOND
3.79% –
Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents VISIT COLLEGEAVE
4.19% – 9.69% Undergraduate and Graduate VISIT LENDKEY
3.35% – 10.89% Undergraduate and Graduate VISIT CONNEXT
3.25% – 11.85% Undergraduate and Graduate VISIT SALLIEMAE

Lendio Franchising Shows Record Growth, Ranks As a Top Franchise in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 (Benzinga), Rated: A

Lendio recently ranked in Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500, the world’s first, best and most comprehensive franchise ranking. Lendio Franchising is the only company on the list that has been offering franchises for less than one year, debuting at #201 for outstanding performance in areas including unit growth, financial strength and brand power. Placement in the Franchise 500® is a highly sought-after honor in the franchise industry, as evidenced by the fact that Entrepreneur received more applications this year than the past 25 years. Additionally, Lendio was recognized as the #1 brand in the Business Financial Services category.

Jersey City is Quietly Becoming a Fintech Hub (deBanked), Rated: B

Pearl was approved on January 9th for a total of $5.6 million over 10 years to relocate under the Grow NJ tax program to boost jobs in the area.

Other finance companies that have relocated to Jersey City, thanks to Grow NJ, are Yellowstone CapitalWorld Business Lenders, and Principis Capital.

United Kingdom

Zopa to launch income verification tool using Open Banking (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

The peer-to-peer lending giant, which is building its own Open Banking infrastructure, says loan applicants will be able to have their income verified by securely using their bank account transaction data rather than having to manually upload bank statements.

Marie Steinthaler, head of new products and Open Banking lead at Zopa, said other features will be launched such as aggregating any accounts linked with Zopa onto the P2P platform so they can be managed in one place.

The consumer lender said it will also make recommendations on spending and budgeting based on user data if access is approved.

Open Banking Arrives in the UK on January 13th. What Does this Mean? (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

In brief, Open Banking is associated with the European Union’s second Payments Services Directive (PSD2). Both PSD2 and Open Banking kick off on January 13th with overlapping objectives but are not quite the same. Simply banning surcharges for consumer debit and credit card payments could save annually more than €550 million for consumers.

For PSD2 the new rules are as follows:

  • Prohibit surcharging, which are additional charges for payments with consumer credit or debit cards, both in shops or online
  • Open the EU payment market to companies offering payment services, based on them gaining access to information about the payment account;
  • Introduce strict security requirements for electronic payments and for the protection of consumers’ financial data;
  • Enhance consumers’ rights in numerous areas. These include reducing the liability for authorized payments and introducing an unconditional (“no questions asked”) refund right for direct debits in euro.

P2P lenders gear up for Open Banking launch (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

MAJOR peer-to-peer lenders are beginning to get their propositions in order as the Open Banking customer data sharing initiative goes live on Saturday.

Under the new rules, the nine banks with the largest market share are required to adopt and maintain common API (application programming interface) standards through which they will share data with other providers and third parties such as P2P lenders.

Other major lenders such as RateSetter and Funding Circle are believed to be monitoring developments in this area.

Open banking? I think I’ll be keeping my door shut (The Guardian), Rated: A

Open banking starts on Saturday. But I think for the time being I’ll be keeping my door firmly shut. Why? Because it’s not absolutely clear who is going to cough up when something goes wrong, which, inevitably it will at some point.

Monzo Announces New Year Plans (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Monzo revealed a list of items needed to be done and their timelines. 

  • In 3-6 weeks, the company is looking to help customers manage their bills easier and will also improve merchant information customers will see when they pay Direct Debits, so they can see the names, locations, category, and logo.
  • In 4-6 weeks, Monzo is looking to put an end to its prepare program and stated its goal has always been to build the best bank account in the world, and within the next few weeks it will be closing down that program.
  • In 3-6 months, Monzo will be making it easier for people to switch payments to its platform and with the help from Current Account Switching Service (CASS), it will be able to help customers avoid all admin stuff, and make it easier for them to switch their existing bank accounts to Monzo. Also in the next 3-6 months, it will be making its Overdraft Preview option available to as many eligible customers as possible.
  • In 6-8-12 months, the company will be looking to make some updates to its Pots feature, build new partnerships, and bring fingerprint support to Android.

Tandem Closes on Harrod’s Bank Purchase, Receives UK Banking License with Acquisition (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Digital challenger bank Tandem has closed on the acquisition of Harrod’s bank – the financial institution long associated with the eponymous London retail store. Harrod’s Bank, founded in 1893, is a small banking institution, but it immediately provides Tandem access to 10,000 customer accounts and £80 million in capital.

London developer secures £4.2m funding from Manchester’s Assetz Capital (BDaily), Rated: A

Assetz Capital has backed London property firm RAA Developments with £4.2m worth of funding.

Four residential sites in the Brockley area will be developed using a £1.9m facility. An additional £2.3m will fund eight sites in Sutton.

Having Supported the Growth of Hundreds of UK Businesses, Sorodo Extends its Business Funding Platform (PRWeb), Rated: A

Sorodo, one of the UK’s fastest-growing online business finance brokers, has been providing a reliable funding solution for hundreds of businesses operating in the UK retail and hospitality sectors since 2014. Having supported the growth of these businesses through its Merchant Cash Advance proposition, the broker is now extending its lending platform to offer an extensive and varied range of alternative business finance products through a new funding platform.

Fintech as a gateway for criminal enterprise (Financial Times), Rated: A

RUSI’s latest report on how financial crime is being facilitated through Money Service Businesses (MSBs) in the UK is worth noting in that context.

First, because KYC and AML rules freeze so many entities out of the formal transmission system, many new entrants are especially attracted to providing services to these demographics, since the financial reward in doing so is very large. Crime groups themselves thus have an interest in launching their own money transmission services and popularising them as legitimate “fintech” alternatives, even if in reality they operate in the shadows of the regulated sector for the sake of enabling criminal enterprise.

Second, the scale of competition in the industry creates a structural vulnerability which ensures even legitimate entrants can be easily taken advantage of by groups seeking to launder funds.

£13.bn of hidden secret debt (The Money Pages), Rated: A

The study from the comparison site found that 40% of UK adults had some form of personal debt (excluding mortgages), owing £6,131, on average.

However, despite nearly a third (29%) of those with debt being concerned about the amount they owe, one in 10 admit to hiding the problem from their loved ones, including their partners – with most (65%) keeping their debt secret for a year or more.

On top of hiding their finances, worryingly, 14% of people said that they didn’t know how they would be able to repay the money they owe.

Magnus Duke Dadzie to leave LendInvest (Bridging & Commercial), Rated: B

LendInvest has announced the departure of one of the specialist property finance lender’s longest-serving business development managers.
Magnus Duke Dadzie will be leaving the company this week after completing a handover.

Lending Works Celebrates Fourth Birthday (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

On Thursday, UK-based peer-to-peer lender Lending Works celebrated its fourth birthday.


Tencent Joins Asia-Tech Debt Rush With Its Biggest Bond Sale (Fox Business), Rated: AAA

Tencent, which owns the popular messaging service WeChat and is one of the world’s largest videogame publishers, on Thursday priced $5 billion in U.S.-dollar bonds that mature in five, 10 and 20 years–its largest-ever bond sale.

Qbao Founder in the Clink After Rags-to-Riches Promises (Caixin), Rated: AAA

When the founder of Qbao turned himself over to police in Nanjing shortly before the New Year’s holiday, it sent shockwaves through China and spotlighted illegal investment schemes on the internet where rags-to-riches promises have outpaced the ability of authorities to shut them down.

Zhang Xiaolei, who dangled tales of returns of up to 80% to potential investors, launched Qbao.com in 2012. A source close to authorities told Caixin that he is accused of illegally raising 70 billion yuan ($11 billion), in what, if proven true, would be the largest online investment fraud in China’s history.

Qbao’s business model was simple – and lucrative. It offered as high as 80% of annualized investment return to investors after they placed required amounts of deposit with the company and took part in product promotional activities, such as watching advertisements, sharing information about products on social media or simply signing into their account every day for a required period. The higher deposits investors paid, the more return they were promised.

Fears grow over Chinese investors snared in $ 11 billion fraud probe (Asia Times), Rated: A

Tantalizing tales of up 80% returns had potential clients clamoring to sign up for the financial firm’s “get rich quick” scheme. Even the full name of the company, Qianbao, had the veneer of success, as it translates into “money treasure.”

“Police are calling on Qbao investors in all regions to report to local public security authorities and cooperate in investigations after the company owner, Zhang Xiaolei, was [held] in custody for suspicion of an illegal fundraising crime,” the company said in a statement.

HNA Group offers high interest payment as funding pressure builds (Financial Times), Rated: A

Three intermediaries who market banker’s acceptances (BAs) for clients seeking to raise cash told the Financial Times that HNA is willing to pay 11 to 12 per cent for one-year financing, far higher than typical rates for high-quality Chinese borrowers. Two of them said that in mid-2017, comparable bills were yielding only 7.5 per cent.

In November, it sold $300m of 363-day bonds in Hong Kong at a rate of 8.875 per cent, the highest ever for a bond from a Chinese company with a maturity of one year or less, according to Thomson Reuters data.

China’s Lufax plans Hong Kong IPO in April at US$ 60 billion valuation (SCMP), Rated: A

Lufax, one of China’s major online wealth management platforms, plans to launch an initial public offering in April in Hong Kong, which could value the firm at about US$60 billion in what could be the city’s biggest fintech flotation.

Banks are still discussing the percentage of shares that could be sold, with initial estimates putting it at around 10 to 15 per cent of the company’s valuation, or US$6 billion to US$9 billion, one of the sources said.

China: WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

It was reported that Renren has closed its RRCoin ICO project after a talk with China’s regulatory authorities.

This week, online consumer financing agency Qudian.com officially launched a new auto financial service platform — Dabai Auto Installment Loans (hereinafter referred to as “Dabaiqiche.com“). The platform offers a minimum down payment of 10% and a term up to 4 years.

On January 12th, Baidu launched its own blockchain as a service (BaaS) platform chain.baidu.com. According to Baidu, the platform has already been used in asset securitization, asset exchange and other business, and contributed to the first exchange-traded asset securitization products utilizing blockchain technology.

Global Stocks Rise Broadly as Hang Seng Eyes a Record (Fox Business), Rated: B

The rapid pace of rule changes by the China Securities Regulatory Commission to rein in lending in the country’s unruly shadow banking sector has hurt investor confidence, said Hao Hong, head of research and strategy at Bank of Communications.

The Hang Seng Index was recently up 1.4% at 31770, rebounding from a Monday afternoon selloff that ended the index’s record 14-day winning streak.

Q&A with Jeremy Goldkorn on the global impact of Chinese tech (TechNode), Rated: B

People were playing with different [P2P lending and small lending] business models. It was a whole new category where Chinese companies could just do whatever the hell they thought, they didn’t even have anyone to copy. There were just a handful of P2P companies in other countries and most of those are pretty bundled up in regulations on what they’re able to do, so Chinese companies didn’t need a model from abroad.


European Union

Cardlay Secures $ 5M USD in Funding (FINSMES), Rated: AAA

Cardlay, an Odense, Denmark-based fintech company, secured $5M in funding.

Backers included Seed Capital and SEB Venture Capital as well as Thorleif Krarup, Klaus Holse, Jørgen Bardenfleth and Herbert Nathan.

Alternative Payment Solution Market: Gain Insights into Revolut’s Business Operations, and Key Events (OpenPR), Rated: A

Revolut is an app-based payment solution allowing users to make domestic and international fund transfers to both Revolut and non-Revolut users. In addition, it allows users to make online and in-store payments, as well as cash withdrawals at ATMs using Visa- and Mastercard-branded Revolut prepaid cards.

Online Lender Lendix Shares What to Expect in 2018 (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Lendix, one of the premier peer to peer lending platforms in continental Europe, published a letter last week sharing what to expect in 2018 and reflecting on the past year. Their third Open Letter first tackled promises from the year prior.

Online Lender Lendix Adds Three New Executives to Management Team (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

Amandine Houpe, former Financial Control Director of M6 Group, joins Lendix as Chief Financial Officer.

Francis Wenstrup, former Senior Operations Manager at OnDeck, joins Lendix as Productivity Manager and will report directly to COO Patrick de Nonneville.

Philippe Lapeyre, former Chief Risk Officer of TIP Trailer Services, joins Lendix as Chief Risk Officer for France.


Just one click is all it takes to get hassle-free online loans (ANI), Rated: A

Loantap: Its consumer durable loans such as travel, wedding loan, credit line OD have been designed to cater to changing customer requirements.

Creditmantri: It is a multi-services platform that helps borrowers secure loans from its partner financers.

Faircent: Each borrower registered with Faircent is evaluated based on his ability, stability, and intention to repay across more than 120 parameters. This procedure helps to gain the trust of lenders.

OMLP2P: OHMY Technologies Private Limited is the owner and operator of OMLP2P, an online Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending platform. This peer-to-peer marketplace for individuals and businesses (MSME segment) facilitates loans online from lenders in a transparent, convenient, and effective manner.

7 Indian Startup News That You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [8-13 Jan 2018] (Inc42), Rated: A

Paytm Money will focus on building investment and wealth management products for its users.

In another development, Paytm Payments Bank has now partnered with Induslnd Bank to introduce a facility that creates a fixed deposit when customer balance exceeds $16K (INR 100K) at the end of day.

Also, after the restructuring exercise wherein it separated its online retail from its payments business in 2016, One97 reduced losses to $141.47 Mn (INR 900 Cr) in the financial year 2016-17 from $243.3 Mn ( INR 1,548 Cr) in FY16. As per filings, Paytm E-commerce had paid $94.46 Mn (INR 620 Cr) to One97 Communications for the transfer of assets during restructuring, which is likely to have brought down the losses for it.

PhonePe To Offer Independent Fintech Solutions

PhonePe is now geared up to develop independent fintech solutions, particularlyinsurance and mutual products.


Peer-to-peer lending gaining traction in VN (Vietnam.net), Rated: AAA

Lendbiz is not the first company to adopt this model in Viet Nam. Many other companies are in this business though the Government and the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) have not yet established legal regulations for P2P lending.

While fintech companies such as Timma, Vaymuon and Mofin focus P2P lending on individual customers, Lendbiz plans to exploit the small and medium-sized enterprises segment, it said.

What is the SBV’s view on P2P lending?

Pham Xuan Hoe, deputy director of the SBV Banking Strategy Institute, told Dau Tu newspaper that while the central bank has yet to license any P2P lending company, he personally likes the model and in any case is a fait accomplice in this digital age.

Tweak tax protocol for bad debt (Straits Times), Rated: A

The Singapore Budget 2017 recognised small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – which make up 99 per cent of our enterprises, employ two-thirds of our workforce and account for 50 per cent of our gross domestic product – as the heart of the nation’s economy.

Yet, it is also widely recognised that there is an unmet gap in readily available, flexible and timely financing options for SMEs, one which the rise of marketplace lending, or peer-to-peer lending, will help to fill.


George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor


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