Daily News Digest Featured News

Monday April 9 2018, Daily News Digest

geocentric model of banking

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United States

United Kingdom

European Union



News Summary

United States

SoFi reduces exposure to long tenors in second consumer-loan ABS of 2018 (American Banker), Rated: AAA

SoFi Lending Corp.’s second consumer-loan securitization of 2018 indicates a slight shift toward higher-earning borrowers on shorter-term loans.

According to presale reports, the $544 million SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2018-2 Trust reduces the percentage of seven-year (84-month) personal loans and five-year (60-month) loans from Sofi’s previous consumer-loan securitization in January. That includes a narrowing of the seven-year loan tier from taking up nearly half of the SCLP 2018-1 pool (45.4%) to little more than one-third (37.5%) in the new transaction.

SoFi Partners with Korn Ferry to Offer New Career Tools to Members (PR Newswire), Rated: A

SoFi and Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY) today announced a partnership bringing access to the KF Advance career development platform to all of SoFi’s nearly-half a million members free of charge. This partnership marks the first time a financial services company has offered KF Advance to its customers.

SoFi and Korn Ferry piloted the offering in the first quarter of 2018, with over 350 SoFi members receiving complimentary access to the KF Advance platform. Pilot participants reported an aggregate 96% satisfaction rate in post-access surveys, suggesting both strong demand and enthusiasm for the platform.


US payrolls slightly weak, LendIt Cheat Sheet, Jamie Dimon’s Annual Report (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

US payrolls rose by 103,000 in March and the unemployment rate remained at 4.1%. Average hourly earnings rose by 2.7% which should keep the Fed on track to raise interest rates twice more this year. Rising interest rates are putting pressure on consumers by increasing monthly payments on variable rate credit cards and mortgage products. A steep rise in interest rates would put a dampener on debt-fueled consumer spending – and consumer debt – which has grown faster than GDP over the last several years.

Below are some highlights from Jamie Dimon’s letter to shareholders and from the Investor Day presentation (with a focus on technology, credit performance, and regulation).

    • Focus on Digital Consumer Banking: JPM is rolling out a fully mobile bank pilot called Finn, digital account openings, facial recognition in the app, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card and a simpler online application for Business Banking customers. They also introduced Chase Pay, the digital equivalent to using a debit or credit card, which allows customers to pay online or in-stores using their mobile phone, and Zelle, a real-time consumer-to-consumer payments system, which allows customers to immediately send money to their friends and family.
banking charts
Source: Peer IQ
    • Credit Fundamentals: JP Morgan sees net charge-offs remaining relatively flat across wholesale and consumer portfolios and a benign credit environment, except for credit cards, where the net charge-off rate is seen rising to 3.25-3.50% in 2018 because of the seasoning of newer origination vintages.
      Source: Peer IQ
  • Smart Regulation: JP Morgan advocates for smart regulation which will fix the fiscal deficit and the entitlement system, the infrastructure and the environment. They are in favor of the recently enacted tax law which provides for a competitive tax system, and an overall competent government that works in partnership with business

The Copernican Revolution in Banking (Fintech Junkie), Rated: AAA

The “Geocentric Model” of Banking consists of the following principles:

  • Banks must manage a complete suite of banking products
    (core banking, lending, payments, wealth management, etc.)
  • Banks must serve all clients (consumer, SME, and corporate)
    through all channels (branch, online, telephone, mobile, etc.)

geocentric model of banking

It’s impossible to believe that all Banks are adequately resourced to deliver a complete suite of best-in-class products

new world of banking
Source: Fintech Junkie

Download the full presentation here.

SEC Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation Final Report: Top Request is Fix the Definition of an Accredited Investor (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

This past week, the SEC published the final report which includes the list of recommendations as prioritized by the participants in this yearly gathering between SMEs and SEC staff.

Below are the top Forum recommendations, ranked by priority:

  • The SEC should maintain existing monetary thresholds for the definition of an accredited investor but should expand it to include individuals that demonstrate sufficient sophistication.
  • The SEC should revise Reg A+ to:
    • mandate blue sky preemption for secondary trading of Regulation A Tier 2 securities;
    • allow at-the-market offerings;
    • allow all reporting companies to use Regulation A;
    • increase the maximum offering amount in any twelve month period from $50 million to $75 million for Regulation A Tier 2 offerings;
    • consider overriding advance notice requirements of state regulators in Regulation A offerings and limiting state filing fees for these offerings;
    • require any portal that is conducting Regulation A offerings to be a registered portal similar to the requirements under Regulation Crowdfunding, and adhere to disclosure requirements
  • Improve Reg CF (Regulation Crowdfunding)
    • Raise the investor’s investment limit (cap) by: removing the cap for investments by accredited investors;
      raising the cap for non-accredited investors by making the limit applicable to each specific investment rather than an aggregate limit; and rationalizing the cap for entities by entity type, not income.
    • Allow portals to receive compensation on different terms than the investor (e.g., warrants to purchase on the same terms as the investors) as well as to co-invest in offerings they list.
    • Rationalize Regulation Crowdfunding requirements for debt offerings and small offerings under $250,000, for example, by:limiting the ongoing reporting obligations

US SEC Charges Longfin Fintech Firm For Insider Trading (Cryptona), Rated: A

The US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC), earlier this week, commenced an investigation on the US-based NASDAQ-listed fintech firm (LFIN), Longfin, which made the stock value of the firm dropped by 30 percent. However, a report released yesterday 6th April by the SEC showed it has charged LongFin Fintech firm and its CEO, Venkat Meenavalli, with securities fraud. The report also showed that SEC has frozen more than $27 million which LongFin generated through “illicit trading profits.” The lawsuit filed in the Manhattan federal court, charged LongFin Fintech firm of operating insider trading, selling “tens of thousands of restricted shares” to Suresh Tammineedi and Dorababu Penumarthi and “over two million unregistered, restricted shares” to Amro Altahawi. These individuals were charged with consequently selling these shares to the public when the price of Longfin’s stock was “highly elevated” as a result of Longfin’s well-publicized purchase of “purported” cryptocurrency firm Ziddu.com. SEC reported that Longfin group’s post-acquisition market capitalization rose to more than $3 billion.

The Debt Dilemma (DS News), Rated: AAA

In February 2017, the financial media sounded the alarm that total U.S. consumer debt was at $12.6 trillion, just a hair short of the $12.7 trillion peak observed on the way into the Great Recession. Clearly, posited the media, approaching debt levels previously achieved only through capricious underwriting of Alt-A Option-ARMs was a sign that our industry had not learned its lesson from the last economic cycle.

Over the following year, consumer debt continued its march forward, posting three consecutive all-time highs, and ending the fourth quarter over $13 trillion, for the first time. Each time the New York Fed updated the “Household Debt and Credit Report,” it triggered a flurry of headlines containing apocalyptic warnings and judgments on the irresponsibleness of the financial industry.

Accounting for these factors, per-capita, inflation-adjusted debt levels have decreased by 14 percent during the last decade. At the individual asset class level, two separate stories emerge, with mortgage and card appearing relatively healthy by historical standards, and some warning signs appearing in auto and student lending.

How to Open Up a New LendingClub Account in 2018 (LendAcademy), Rated: A

The new LendingClub account setup is a simple, straight forward process, taking less than five minutes. As you’ll see in the video below LendingClub asks for some basic information during the signup process and then asks for information for the initial funding of the account.

Although I had to link my bank account manually in the video below, LendingClub now has the ability to connect your bank account quickly, simply by using your bank’s login credentials. Up to 15,000+ banks are available for linking, including USAA, Citi, Bank of America, and Chase.

How Credit Card Issuers Pursue The Wary Millennial (Forbes), Rated: A

A recent report by Aite Group, a financial services industry research company, found that almost half of Millennials (defined in the report as those born between 1981 and 2000) carry just one rewards credit card. On the other hand, 40% of seniors (born before 1946) have three or more cards, as do 27% of Gen Xers (born between 1965 and 1980). Similarly, less than half of Millennials say they use their card at least once a week. In contrast, 61% of seniors do so.

According to a NerdWallet study released earlier this year, Millennials (in the study, ages 18 to 34) were the most likely generation to say that they regret their credit card debt, with 91% of Millennial respondents saying so, compared with 81% of baby boomers (ages 55 and up).

Ingo Powers Instant SMB Loan Payouts For Kabbage (PYMNTS), Rated: A

In an announcement Monday, Ingo Money and Kabbage said they will work together to bring real-time disbursement of commercial loan proceeds to SMBs’ corporate accounts.

Kabbage will leverage Ingo’s “push payments in a box” solution to push loan proceeds to any SMB debit card or wallet account.

Ingo has said that its Ingo Push offering is able to reach more than 4.5 billion accounts spanning credit and debit cards, online wallets such as PayPal and physical cash-out locations.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs: A Bank + Fintech Model for the Future (The Financial Brand), Rated: A

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is only 2 years old, but is already showing the potential of a strong Banks + Fintech strategy. Using open banking APIs and aggressive acquisition of fintech start-ups, they are building a better digital banking customer experience.

  • Personal Loans
    • No fees. Ever.
    • Fixed interest rates throughout the life of the loan
    • .Ability to choose monthly payment dates and options.
    • Dedicated loan specialists based in the US who deliver live, personalized support.
  • Online Saving Accounts
    • Rates higher than the national average.
    • No transaction fees.
    • FDIC insured to the maximum allowed by law.
    • Dedicated saving specialists based in the US who deliver live, personalized support.

Tips on how to become a better backer for crowdfunding projects (Born2Invest), Rated: A

Thanks to the internet, there are plenty of ways in which backers can find new crowdfunding projects to invest in. These platforms offer different kinds of setups and investment structures, but they all have one goal: launching the next startup that could shape their respective industries. Investors can take a look at some of the most popular crowdfunding sites as follows:

Indiegogo-If you’re looking to invest in new gadgets and technological innovations, Indiegogo is your crowdfunding heaven.

SeedInvest-SeedInvest handpicks the startups it wants to feature and only accepts roughly one percent of all the startups that applied through its crowdfunding site. But it is all worth it because the crowdfunding platform offers businesses that are highly vetted. While that sounds good enough, potential backers should be warned that a minimum investment of $500 is needed.

StraightUp-If you want to get into real estate investing, StraightUp comes from the incubation of HAP Ventures, a company that has a deep understanding of property crowdfunding and the real estate market of New York. Compared to other crowdfunding sources, StraightUp also invests along with its clients.

How Real-Time Payments are Changing the Lending Game (Lendit), Rated: A

Faster payments have penetrated a handful of market segments, particularly peer-to-peer (P2P) payments and the gig economy, but a lot of work still needs to be done in the funds disbursements space. In our digital economy where consumers are accustomed to on-demand services and experiences, businesses providing a better and faster payment experience is no longer a “nice to have”, but has become a necessity.

There is a huge opportunity to make real-time payments to consumers and small businesses more efficient. Recent research conducted by Aite Group found that 80% of merchants surveyed believe that real-time payments would increase available cash flow, which not coincidentally, over one-third of U.S. small businesses surveyed identify as a major challenge to running their business. Solving how small businesses access their money, on their schedule, is incredibly important to running a business the right way.


How to make sure you’re investing with the right robo-advisor (CNBC), Rated: A

Betterment recently announced the addition of a new tool to let investors control how asset classes are weighted in their portfolios.

Wealthfront, a competing platform, recently added its own fund to its investment lineup that aims to mimic a hedge fund’s strategy at a lower cost.

Betterment’s tool, which is also accessible to financial advisors, and Wealthfront’s fund, a move toward active investing, are departures from the strategies those companies started out with, said Grant Easterbrook, a former robo-advice analyst and currently co-founder of Dream Forward.

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, the investment management giant’s online advice offering, provides access to an advisor for all investors during the onboarding and portfolio construction process. Those who have $500,000 or more invested in the platform continue to work with their advisor.

Podcast: How Banks Can Embrace Responsible Innovation (Benzinga), Rated: A

No area of fintech is playing out with more regulatory questions right now than lending. While online lenders like Prosper and RocketLoans have made it easier than ever for both individuals and small businesses to get access to the capital they need, they’ve also caused big questions for regulators.

On this episode, hosts Jeremy Potter and Colin Darke talk with Marc Franson, a partner at Chapman Cutler and member of the board of governors at the Online Lending Policy Institute.

On the podcast the trio also discuss:

  • Who should be considered marketplace lenders, as opposed to payday lenders (3:08)
  • Whether online lending has created an entirely new market or recycled the market that already existed (6:38)
  • What will come of the latest “true lender” legislation out of Washington (9:08)
  • The right and wrong ways for banks to partner with tech companies (12:36)

Socure CEO to Discuss Online Identity Verification Challenges at LendIt FinTech Conference (Business Wire), Rated: B

Socure, a leading provider of predictive analytics for digital identity verification, today announced its CEO Sunil Madhu has been invited to present at LendIt Fintech USA 2018 in San Francisco next week. Sunil will join an expert panel to discuss how to fight financial crimes now that online and mobile have become primary transaction channels for consumers and businesses.

Ready, Set, Lend! FinCryption.com Launches Its Secure Crypto Solution at Lendit Fintech USA 2018 (Bitcoin News), Rated: B

Household names like Overstock, Expedia, Subway, and Intuit are already actively transacting in crypto. Every day another merchant announces acceptance of virtual currency as a payment method for its goods or services.

The New Standard in Crypto Security
FinCryption affirms its solution is unparalleled in three key areas: Security, Transparency, and Accessibility. “FinCryption’s proprietary security technology locks down any crypto asset, preventing theft or seizure of coins, while simultaneously allowing for safe and secure de-escrowing at any time. FinCryption provides complete transparency, enabling customers to verify coins are secured via a public address. FinCryption’s solution provides formidable accessibility options, giving customers and institutions the ability to react immediately to market conditions, or any other event.”



Commentary: A tech solution to freeing up bank loans for more (HeraldNet), Rated: A

Fintech firms frequently partner with local banks to help identify potential borrowers they’d otherwise overlook. Thanks to these partnerships, middle-class Americans can gain access to bank loans at more affordable interest rates — and avoid high-cost payday lenders altogether.

If fintech firms are classified as banks or “true lenders” on loans, despite banks generally lending the money and taking on the risk of borrowers, they could be saddled with the same capital requirements and other regulations as traditional banks. That would all but end the partnerships between banks and fintech firms — to the detriment of borrowers without perfect credit history.

Congress may soon clear up this legal ambiguity. Right now, the House Financial Services Committee, of which U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, D-Washington, is a member, is considering the Modernizing Credit Opportunities Act. The legislation would clarify that fintech firms are not “true lenders.”


United Kingdom

Assetz Capital Reaches Manual Lending Milestone (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On Friday, Assetz Capital announced it has reached a record number of loans available to investors using our Manual Lending Account (MLA), with well over 200 live loans with loan parts available for immediate investment on the secondary market. According to the online lender, the MLA allows hands-on investors to build a diversified portfolio of hand-picked loans that suit their personal investment preferences.

Assetz Capital reported it also offers both access and automatic diversification accounts. The company also noted that it always maintained a manual lending option and the size of its current loan book makes this a more attractive proposition than ever before.

Can I transfer some cash in my existing stocks and shares Isa to open another through a robo-adviser and invest in both at the same time? (This Is Money), Rated: A

Can I transfer some of the money from my existing Isa and use it to open another with a robo-adviser?

If I do this will I be able to invest in both at the same time? 

Myron Jobson of This is Money replies: The short answer is yes, but part-transferring is not as easy as taking some cash out of your existing stocks and shares Isa and using it to open another through a robo-adviser.


UK challenger bank gives up banking licence to focus on fintech (Computer World), Rated: A

UK challenger bank CivilisedBank has decided to give up its banking licence for now to focus on being a financial technology (fintech) company.

The online-only bank, which plans to serve small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with savings and investment products, received regulatory approval in 2017 with a plan to launch in 2018.

CivilisedBank, which is built on cloud-based software, said it plans to use a network of local bankers to serve SME customers with a turnover of up to about £25m backed up by a cloud-based technology platform that is already used in Europe by BNP Paribas bank.


The previous year was particularly important for the London and UK VC market, pinpointing the transition from a pure exporter of great technologies and talent to the US investment market, to a player in the global ecosystem in the later stages of the funding journey, matching in effect the level and valuations of US VC investors.

The signal was given by the emergence of mega-deals like Improbable ($502 million), Farfetched (£313 million), Deliveroo ($385 million), Prodigy Finance ($240 million), Neyber (£100 million), Atom (£93 million), TrueSpeed (£75 million) and Funding Circle (£60 million).

This trend continued even in Q4 of 2017 with Truphone (£255 million), TransferWise (£211 million), OakNorth (£154 million), Orchard Therapeutics (£85 million) and Secret Escapes (£83 million).

MORTGAGE BROKING IN THE DIGITAL AGE (Mobile Marketing Magazine), Rated: A

Since launch, the free online mortgage broker has completed £420m worth of mortgage submissions; raised £27.5m in funding from backers including Atomico, Transferwise, Funding Circle and Mosaic Ventures; and grown headcount 10-fold, from seven employees to 70. The company has also been named FinTech Startup of the Year, and achieved a Trustscore of 9.5 on Trustpilot, based on 700 reviews.


So what are the key points of difference between a traditional brokerage and Habito’s offering? “First, the cost,” says Hegarty. “It’s free as opposed to £200 – £500. We also work with almost the entire market rather than just a dozen lenders. There are a couple we are not working with because they not taking on new intermediaries.

Industry backs review into rise of the robo-advisers (FT Adviser), Rated: A

The committee cited research suggesting 58 per cent of people would not currently want to accept an advice recommendation from a computer.

During the committee’s inquiry, the FCA was unable to point to any explicit examples of comparisons it had done between automated and face-to-face advice, although it stressed that quality requirements remained the same, regardless of the advice channel.

The committee also recommended measures such as default guidance, a pensions dashboard and a more varied advice market could be vital in ensuring that savers are equipped.

Investors face tax quandary on defaulted property loans (Peer2Peer), Rated: A

PEER-TO-PEER investors are being encouraged to seek tax advice or use their own judgement on defaulted loans that are secured by property rather than waiting on recoveries.

HMRC guidance says investors can set the loss they suffer on a loan against the interest they receive on other P2P loans before the income is taxed. If a platform later recovers the funds and repays investors, the amount is treated as new income, leaving investors to decide whether to claim on their tax bill or keep waiting.

Stuart Law, chief executive of business and property lending platform Assetz Capital, warns the guidance says the relief can only be claimed if there is no reasonable prospect of the loan being repaid, which may be hard to prove.

How to invest in property without becoming a buy-to-let landlord… and even do it tax-free with an Isa (This is Money), Rated: A

An extra 3 per cent on stamp duty rates has thrown up a barrier to entry on top of the cost of a deposit. Invest in a £200,000 buy-to-let now and not only will you need a £50,000 deposit but you’ll also pay £7,500 in tax – compared to £1,500 as an owner-occupier.

Buy-to-let has without doubt got harder to get into due to a combination of high house prices bumping up deposits, more onerous rent-to-mortgage requirements shutting out some properties, and that hefty stamp duty hit.

Meanwhile, many longer term landlords have chosen to sell up their properties as the loss of tax relief on mortgage interest makes figures much harder to stack up and increase the temptation to take the profits from years of rising house prices.

There are a range of ways on how they achieve this, but predominantly these start-ups allow you to become either a peer-to-peer investor who lends to landlords and property developers, or to invest in a share of a property alongside other investors.



China’s P2P online lending remains tepid in March (China Economic Net), Rated: AAA

Business volume of China’s peer-to-peer (P2P) online lending, though recovered more or less on a monthly basis, was less than the year-earlier level in March following increased regulation, an industrial report showed.

P2P online lending transactions reached 192 billion yuan (30 billion U.S. dollars) in March, down 23.6 percent year on year, according to a report from wdzj.com, a P2P online lending analysis platform.

P2P online lending balance edged up 1.3 percent month-on-month to about 1.3 trillion yuan at the end of last month, led by Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong.

European Union

Flender targets institutions for €50m loan boost (Independent), Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer lender Flender is in the process of raising a €50m debt package to boost lending on its site, and is in talks with a number of Irish and international institutions about participation in the deal.

PwC is on board to lead the fundraising round, and the company hopes to secure agreements with institutions for the rest. Chief executive Kristjan Koik said the company’s ultimate aim is to list on the stock market in three or four years’ time.

The FT 1000: the complete list of Europe’s fastest-growing companies (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

The FT 1000 lists the companies in 31 European countries that have achieved the highest compound annual growth rate in revenue between 2013 and 2016. Technology remains the best represented sector, contributing 155 companies to the list, with a food delivery company topping the list for the second year in a row: UK-based Deliveroo takes the place of Germany’s HelloFresh.

top 20 fastest growing EU companies
Source: Financial Times

Brief: Crowdestate Opens Secondary Market (P2P Banking), Rated: A

Crowdestate is an Estonian p2p lending market place focussing on property. It is somewhat compareable to Estateguru or Lendy, the difference is that Crowdestate has a wider mix of offers, including unsecured debts or equity. I published an interview with the Crowdestate CEO last year.

The projects usually come with a term of 1 to 2 years, occassionally a bit long or shorter. There were not that many projects in the past . Often only 1 or 2 a month. Recently the pace has been picking up. Investor demand strongly outweights supply. Often the autoinvest bids fill a new offer instantly, if not then it is often filled within a hour of coming on the plattform. There are no fees for investors. Only a few offers pay interest during term, with most accruing interest to be paid at the end of the term. There are no fees for investors.

Active investments
Source P2P Banking


McNamara gets on board with start-up Flender (Business Post), Rated: B

Former Merrill Lynch International Bank director David McNamara has emerged as an investor in Dublin-based peer-to-peer lending start-up Flender.


How to Defend Yourself Against Pump-and-Dump Crypto Scams (Kaplan Herald), Rated: A

“Pump and dump” schemes have been around since long before cryptocurrency was invented. What‘s striking about the crypto markets is that this type of manipulation is done out in the open.

While this twisted sort of transparency may be refreshing when compared to the secretive by traders at large banks a decade ago, the prevalence of these groups underscores the hazards facing investors in cryptocurrency.


Australian Online Lender Appoints New Directors, Greg Ruddock to Become Chair of the Board (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

Prospa, one of Australia’s leading online lenders to SMEs, has appointed Gail Pemberton AO and Fiona Trafford-Walker as Independent Non-Executive Directors to the Prospa Board. Prospa also announced that current Non-Executive Director Greg Ruddock has been appointed to the role of Chairman of the Board, having recently stepped down from the Board of Eclipx Group Limited to focus on Prospa.

The new Board members will join existing Non-Executive Directors Avi Eyal from Entrée Capital, James Cameron from AirTree Ventures, and Executive Directors and Co-Founders Greg Moshal & Beau Bertoli.


The fantasy of the robo financial adviser (Asia Asset Management), Rated: A

The more successful financial advisers act as behavioural therapists

Financial advice is a highly personal service because money matters are extremely personal. Providing it is very labour intensive. Those who believe it can be automated and delegated to robo advisers fail to comprehend the very nature of financial advice.

Finance industry fears over-regulation (Korea Joongang Daily), Rated: A

Korea’s financial regulations are considered strict, particularly when it comes to new services like internet-only banks and robo-advisers.

As for internet banks, the law only allows non-financial conglomerates to own up to 10 percent of a financial firm, and only exercise voting rights for 4 percent. The law was introduced to prevent major conglomerates from using affiliated banks as personal piggy banks, but it is now a major hurdle for newcomers hoping to establish digital banks.

Breaking the mold: How these 6 blockchain companies aim to reinvigorate the industries (E27), Rated: A


Alchemy has an ambitious goal and an incredible story. Founder Justin Cheng is just 21 years-old and has led the company to over $30 million in funds raised in just a few months. The P2P lending platform is looking to provide access to loans and opportunity to the developing world. First up, will be Cambodia, where Alchemy has established an early relationship to launch a test pilot in 2018.

P2P lending is popular in the blockchain space because blockchain technology helps solve many of the challenges seen in the industry. For Alchemy, the product goes a step further and allows people to own a piece of a collateralized debt obligation (CDO) created by the company and facilitated through the sale of tokens. This is the first time CDOs have been introduced on the blockchain in a consumer-friendly way.


George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor


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