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Tuesday October 30 2018, Daily News Digest

Synchrony Q3 Earnings
Source PeerIQ

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United States

FTC puts student lenders on notice by citing misleading ads at SoFi (American Banker) Rated: AAA

SoFi has agreed to settle federal charges that it misled borrowers about how much they could save by refinancing their student loans. The charges were issued by the Federal Trade Commission, which warned other student lenders to steer clear of similar violations.

The commission voted 5-0 on Monday to issue the administrative complaint and accept the agreement with SoFi. The company, which agreed to stop exaggerating potential savings, was not required to pay a civil penalty.

According to the FTC, SoFi over the past two years has inflated — at times doubling — estimates of the average borrower’s savings from student loan refis. The San Francisco company, which in one ad claimed that SoFi customers save an average of $22,359, did so, in part, by excluding from its calculations borrowers who refinance their loans with longer terms and pay more over the lifetime of their loans, the agency said.

Online Student Loan Refinance Company SoFi Settles FTC Charges, Agrees to Stop Making False Claims About Loan Refinancing Savings (FTC) Rated: A

Online student loan refinancer SoFi has agreed to stop misrepresenting how much money student loan borrowers have saved or will save from refinancing their loans with the company, in order to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceptively advertised inflated figures for more than two years.

According to the FTC, one online SoFi ad claimed, “Refinancing student loans saves $22,359 on average,” while another ad told readers to “Start saving on your student loans. Average monthly savings $292.”

6 Great Stocks Under $ 6 (The Motley Fool) Rated: AAA

LendingClub — $3.13

Peer-to-peer lending doesn’t get a lot of love on Wall Street, but it’s a win-win for folks looking to borrow money and risk-tolerant income investors willing to lend out their money in the chase for higher yields. LendingClub has had a rough first few years as a public company, and it wasn’t until just a few weeks ago that it settled up on Federal Trade Commission and SEC complaints stemming from company disclosures that ultimately cost its CEO his job.

The platform’s popularity continues to grow. Revenue rose 27% in LendingClub’s latest quarter, and loan originations rose 31% to hit a record $2.8 billion. Guidance wasn’t great. Profitability remains a challenge. The depressed stock has some serious upside as demand for peer-to-peer lending gains — pun intended — interest.

Prosper Performance Update: September 2018 (Prosper Blog) Rated: AAA

Highlights from the September report include:

  • In September, 61% of originations were rated AA-B as Prosper continues to reduce the risk profile of originations on the platform.
  • Dollar WA FICO for the month of September was 717, remaining flat month-over-month and increasing 10 points since Q3 2017.
  • Average loan size on the platform is approximately $13,300, approximately $280 lower since 2018H1. This decrease is driven by our continued focus on limiting loan amounts based on a borrower’s income and ability to pay.
  • WA Borrower Rate for September originations on the platform increased by 10 bps compared to August as the portion of originations rated AA-B decreased slightly.

Loan Growth at Credit Card Issuers (Peer IQ) Rated: AAA

American Express Q3 Earnings

Revenues at AXP grew by 9% YoY to $10.1 Bn to achieve record levels. Earnings grew by 22% YoY to $1.7 Bn. NII also grew 17% YoY to $2 Bn. AXP’s premium customer base saw record-low delinquency rates while the net charge-off rate increased slightly YoY to 1.7%.

amex earnings
Source: Peer IQ

Capital One Q3 Earnings

COF’s revenues were flat YoY at $7 Bn, but earnings grew by 36% YoY to $1.5 Bn. Growth in NII was modest at 2% YoY to $5.8 Bn. COF was the only issuer who saw a drop in the net charge-off rate by 20 bps YoY to 2.4%. COF also saw its provisions for loan losses decrease by 31% YoY driven by improving credit quality of the credit card and auto loan portfolios. This release in provisions consequently led to a 3% YoY drop in allowance for loan losses to $7.2 Bn on loan growth of 1% YoY.

Capital One Earnings
Source: PeerIQ

Synchrony Q3 Earnings

SYF’s revenues grew by 9% YoY to $3.3 Bn. Earnings grew by 21% YoY to $0.7 Bn. NII grew by 9% YoY to $4.2 Bn. SYF had the highest net charge-off rate of 5% among all issuers, which stayed flat YoY. Loans grew by 14% YoY to $88 Bn. Provision for loan losses grew by 11% YoY and the total allowance for loan losses increased by 16% YoY to $2.9 Bn, slightly outpacing loan growth.

Synchrony Q3 Earnings
Source: PeerIQ

LendingTree Ranks Down Payment Affordability by State (Lending Tree) Rated: AAA

Key findings

  • Average down payment percentages for conventional 30-year, fixed-rate purchase mortgage offers stayed about the same from the second quarter to the third quarter, rising 0.03 percentage points (18.02% to 18.05%).
  • At the same time, average down payment amounts decreased nearly 10% in the third quarter, falling from $52,480 to $47,265.
  • The average loan amount offered to potential homebuyers fell around $28,000 from $285,903 in Q2 to $257,749 in Q3.
Down Payment State Rankings by percentage
Source: Lending Tree

 

Down Payment State Rankings by cost
Source: Lending Tree

Average mortgage down payments drop in Q3 (Mortage Professional America) Rated: A

Average down payment amounts for conventional 30-year, fixed-rate purchase mortgage offers declined during the third quarter, while down payments as a percentage of the price stayed about the same, according to an analysis by LendingTree.

Average amounts fell by almost 10% during the third quarter, decreasing to $47,265 from $52,480. At the same time, average down payment percentages were steady from the second quarter, rising 0.03 percentage points to 18.05% from 18.02%.

The Credit Junction Secures $ 23 Million Equity Investment from Century Equity Partners (New York Business Journal) Rated: A

The Credit Junction, the first data-driven, asset-based lender for small and mid-sized businesses, has secured a $23 million growth equity investment from Century Equity Partners (“Century”). Century focuses on making investments in lower middle market companies that have demonstrated value propositions to the financial services industry. This investment provides The Credit Junction with growth capital to expand its ability to provide financing solutions to Supply Chain America, as well as commercialize its proprietary data and risk analytics platform.

This marks the second meaningful financing announcement for The Credit Junction in recent months, as the company secured a $150 million credit facility from MidCap Financial in March 2018.

Surge in Mobile Fraud and Phishing, Balancing Customer Friction and Fraud Prevention Are Biggest Challenges for Businesses (PR Newswire) Rated: A

IDology today released its Sixth Annual Fraud Report, confirming the growing importance of balancing customer friction and fraud prevention, cited by businesses this year as the number one challenge in fighting fraud. The report reveals a surge in mobile and phishing fraud schemes, a focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning as the growing trends in identity verification, and the strategic role identity verification plays in the quest to gain a competitive edge, retain and attract customers, and increase revenue.

Phishing and Mobile Fraud Surge

Credit card fraud and account takeovers remain the most widespread forms of fraud, but phishing schemes and mobile fraud have surged.

  • The prevalence of mobile fraud surged dramatically with an increase of 117% over the previous year (one of the highest year-over-year increases among the fraud vectors measured this year in the survey). The number of businesses that feel their industry is least prepared to detect and prevent mobile device attacks increased 167% compared to a year ago.
  • Businesses reported a 63% increase in mobile fraud. All types, including porting, spoofing, hacking and fraudulent change events, are on the rise. Caller ID spoofing increased by 74%, porting by 69% and SMS interception by 50% compared to 2017.
  • Phishing, which can be linked to 93% of last year’s security breaches and has steadily risen each year, increased in prevalence by 66%.
mobile fraud phishing
Source: IDology

ABS Professionals Demonstrate Enthusiasm Despite Rising Interest Rates, Survey Finds (ABL Advisor) Rated: A

Capital One survey conducted at ABS East 2018—a conference convening professionals from across the asset-backed securities (ABS) industry—found that most respondents (94 percent) expect buy-side interest in ABS to increase or remain the same in the coming year while only 6 percent expect it to decrease.

Of the challenges facing the industry, only 15 percent of ABS professionals elected increases in interest rates. For the majority of respondents, uncertainty around regulatory requirements (30 percent), increased credit risk (25 percent) and increased competition (24 percent) pose the greater challenges for their businesses over the next 12 months.

State Regulators File Second Lawsuit Opposing OCC Fintech Charter (National Law Review) Rated: A

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) has filed a second lawsuit in D.C. federal district court to stop the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) from issuing special purpose national bank (SPNB) charters to fintech companies.  A similar lawsuit was filed last month in a New York federal district court by the New York Department of Financial Services.

Stephanie Klein of Braviant Holdings (Lend Academy) Rated: A

While the non-prime consumer lending space is less competitive than prime there are many companies doing interesting things. We heard the recent news of US Bank entering the space and just today I read that the CFPB intends to change the rules for payday lenders in the new year. It is certainly a dynamic space that will be going through lots of changes in the near future.

Our next guest on the Lend Academy Podcast is Stephanie Klein. She is the CEO of Braviant Holdings, a non-prime lender that has been around since 2014. Stephanie actually has quite a long history in the non-prime space going back more than a decade to her time with Al Goldstein’s (the CEO of Avant) first lending company, CashNetUSA.

Online subprime lender Elevate Credit plunges from record low after earnings (Market Watch) Rated: AAA

Elevate Credit Inc. ELVT, -32.13% closed at a record low Monday, then plunged more than 20% in after-hours trading following an earnings report that included lowered annual guidance and myriad concerns that cropped up in the quarter. Chief Executive Ken Rees called the quarter “unexpectedly challenging” in the announcement, and then ticked off the reasons for the performance.

Elevate, which offers loans online to subprime customers through different products, reported a third-quarter loss of $4.2 million, or 10 cents a share, on revenue of $201.5 million, after reporting a profit of a penny a share on sales of $172.9 million a year ago. Analysts on average expected earnings of 13 cents a share on sales of $200.2 million, according to FactSet.

The company chopped its annual forecast, which previously called for earnings of 55 cents to 90 cents a share on sales of $790 million to $810 million. Now, Elevate expects earnings of 23 cents to 32 cents a share on sales of $790 million to $795 million in 2018. After shares closed at an all-time low of $6.35 Monday, they fell to about $5 in after-hours trading.

Equifax launches real-time Open Banking ID checks (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

CREDIT referencing agency Equifax has teamed up with Open Banking technology provider consents.online to allow it to match customer data and transactions in real time.

It will be used within Equifax’s bank account verifier system that lets lenders compare sort codes and account numbers to its own database.

Users will be able to match identity information such as the consumer’s name, address and date of birth with transaction data provided through Open Banking, helping them verify who someone is faster and help avoid fraud.

5 Ways Online Loan Lenders are Changing the Financial Landscape (The Libertarian Republic) Rated: A

Perhaps you didn’t know that about 80 percent of American households are in some form of financial debt.

  1. Fast Access to Credit

Traditional banks have a bad reputation for playing hardball with loan applicants. Borrowers have to fill out more than a couple of forms and wait for days, weeks even, to get an approval. Never mind a simpler clerical error can get your request turned down.

  1. Credit Process Automation

One of the reasons traditional lenders take ages to approve and disburse credit is that they have to manually verify borrowers’ details.

  1. Introduction of New Lending Models

You don’t just walk into any bank or credit union and apply for a loan.

  1. Bad Credit? No Problem

The only other thing that is certain besides death and taxes is a traditional lender turning down a borrower with poor credit.

  1. Millennials Are Having Their Way

Being a millennial is a full-time job – with no paid overtime. From having people label them needy and entitled to being the objects of hate for older generations, it’s tough being a millennial.

Money20/20 Las Vegas: Wealthfront’s Freemium Tool Shows How Robo-Advisors Can Capture Market Share from Incumbents (The Fintech Times) Rated: A

At Money 20/20 in Las Vegas, Wealthfront announced it is opening up its financial planning service to anyone for free. The freemium service is currently in beta and will be available by the end of this year.

Heike van den Hoevel, Senior Wealth Management Analyst at GlobalData, who is attending the conference commented, “Our data shows that cost of advice is a big deterrent. Making higher-value services such as pension advice available free of charge will thus allow Wealthfront to widen its customer base and take away market share from traditional players.”

According to GlobalData’s 2016 and 2017 Mass Affluent Investors Surveys, a fifth of investors globally have made use of a robo-advisor at some stage during the investment process. However, only 1% regard it as their primary provider.

The U.S. Financial Industry Could Be More Innovative. But Should It? (Barrons) Rated: A

American banking is apparently just a bit too boring, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has concluded. Its chairwoman, Jelena McWilliams, told the American Bankers Association conference that the agency will open an innovation office.

This is related to, but slightly different from, the tack taken in July’s report from the Treasury Department that laid out more than 80 recommendations to help nonbank financial firms. The idea then was that nonbank financial firms, which get called fintechs for marketing reasons, don’t get a fair shot because of the regulatory advantages enjoyed by regular old banks.

The message was that regulation was stifling innovation by not regulating nonbank financial firms. Companies like Square, for instance, should be able to get banking charters if they want. (Which they do.)

McWilliams seems to see the problem from the perspective of banks rather than from nonbanks and comes to what looks like a contradictory position: Nonbank fintechs are innovating like crazy and banks aren’t keeping up. But there’s nothing exactly contradictory about saying nonbanks could be doing more things under a more accommodating regulatory regime and that banks aren’t innovating as fast nonbanks.

Walker & Dunlop Selects SS&C to Support $ 78 Billion Loan Portfolio (SS&C) Rated: B

SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:SSNC), a global provider of financial services software and software-enabled services, today announced that Walker & Dunlop has selected SS&C as a technology and services partner to deliver a highly-automated solution for loan servicing, asset management, insurance compliance, document management and investor reporting. This partnership reinforces SS&C’s commitment to the agency/multifamily market.

SS&C will provide cloud-based software and outsourcing services including Precision LM for loan servicing, and AWD, an enterprise business process management system, which combines automation, workforce optimization and digital transformation for insurance compliance and renewals. SS&C’s integrated solution supports a broad range of commercial/multifamily loan programs, such as Freddie Mac (including Freddie K securitizations), Fannie Mae, HUD, Bridge, Life Company and more.

Commerce Bank Supports FinTech Startups through Partnership with SixThirty (Business Wire) Rated: B

Commerce Bank announced today a multi-year partnership with SixThirty, a St. Louis-based venture fund that invests in financial technology (FinTech) startup companies. SixThirty targets investments in late-seed stage startups that have a product and market traction and are starting to earn revenue. Its portfolio and pipeline represent some of the most innovative and promising FinTech ideas from around the world.

Through its strategic relationship with SixThirty, Commerce will provide hands-on training and mentoring to the companies selected to take part in SixThirty’s business development program. Commerce team members will also participate in networking opportunities with leading technology and financial services institutions and some of the brightest and most innovative minds in the country. Additionally, Commerce will have the ability to make direct investments in ideas that present strategic, long-term opportunity to the business and the needs of our customers.

The Schall Law Firm Announces the Filing of a Class Action Lawsuit Against Jianpu Technology Inc. (Business Wire) Rated: B

The Schall Law Firm, a national shareholder rights litigation firm, announces the filing of a class action lawsuit against Jianpu Technology Inc. (“Jianpu” or “the Company”) (NYSE: JT) for violations of §§10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Investors who purchased the Company’s shares pursuant to and/or traceable to the Registration Statement and Prospectus issued in connection with Jianpu’s initial public offering on or about November 16, 2017, are encouraged to contact the firm before December 24, 2018.

United Kingdom

The House Crowd opens £15m property development project to investors (Development Finance) Rated: AAA

A£15m crowdfunding property development project in Altrincham from the House Crowd has opened for investment.
The property crowdfunding and P2P lending platform is scheduled to complete the land purchase in November and start the build in January.

The House Crowd gives retail investors the chance to make an investment – starting from £1,000 – in property developments and builds the properties itself.

The site is in Altrincham town centre and will result in a total of 40 units comprising 31 apartments, eight townhouses and one commercial unit (pictured above).

P2P sector queries data used to justify tabled investor restrictions (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

The industry gathered at a Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) event held in London last Wednesday, to discuss the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) review of the sector ahead of the 27 October deadline for feedback.

The most contentious element of the FCA review was its proposals to introduce categorisation and appropriateness tests for P2P investors. Under the proposed changes, platforms would be restricted to marketing to those who are certified as sophisticated or high-net-worth investors or those that certify that they will not invest more than 10 per cent of their net portfolio in P2P.

At the P2PFA event, which was held under Chatham House rules, stakeholders suggested that the FCA had misinterpreted the findings of a 2016 survey conducted by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, which collected responses from investors. It was suggested that the FCA had used these findings as justification for the proposed marketing restrictions.

nCino to Present at Upcoming Fintech Industry Conferences (PR Newswire) Rated: B

nCino, the worldwide leader in cloud banking, today announced that members of the company’s leadership and market development teams will speak at two upcoming fintech industry conferences.

Nathaniel Ward, nCino’s regional vice president of market development for EMEA, will be speaking at MoneyLive Nordic Banking 2018 in a session titled: New Models in Banking: The Impact of Digitalisation. This session will explore the benefits and opportunities of cloud banking, and how to enable a workforce through digital transformation. This session will take place on 8 November at 09.45 at the Copenhagen Marriot Hotel.

Later in November, nCino’s chief innovation officer, Nathan Snell, will participate in a fireside chat at LendIt FinTech Europe 2018. In a session titled: The Rapid Pace of Product Launches in the Digital Age, Snell will discuss AI’s potential impact on the future of banking.

International

Crypto Lending Platforms Navigate Turbulent 2018 Market (Forbes) Rated: AAA

The surge of cryptocurrencies and “hodling” investment strategies of 2017 precipitated a flood of crypto asset-backed lending platforms coming to market.

The idea is a simple – take the concepts and models of traditional asset-backed lending and implement them with new “crypto assets” like Bitcoin and Ether. So if cryptocurrency miners or hodlers need short term access to fiat currency to pay expenses but don’t want to liquidate their positions, they can take out loans against the value of their crypto assets.

As such, platforms like ETHLend, SALT Lending, Nuo Lend and a plethora of others provide an alternative vehicle for investors who want to simultaneously hold and use their cryptocurrency.

Nexo Shares Positive Testimonials From XRP Users One Week After Launching Lending Service (Blokt) Rated: A

Nexo writes that it has received a huge inflow of corporate as well as individual XRP users who sought Nexo loans by keeping their crypto holdings as collateral. The loans ranged between $1,000 to $2,000,000. The service provider goes on to suggest that it is humbled as well as thrilled by the recognition it has received from the XRP community. The firm went on to share some testimonials by clients.

Australia

Australia’s fintech startups are starting to make profits (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

Australian fintech revenues are up 2.25 times and more of the startups have hit profitability as the local sector matures, according to the latest EY Census released at the FinTech Australia Intersekt conference.

Almost one in five (19%) fintech companies are now profitable with those aged three years or older now making up 43% of the local industry, up from 31% last year and just 20% in 2016.

The 2018 EY FinTech Australia Census, now in its third year, paints a picture of a sector now established and coming into its own as an alternative within the financial services landscape.

Forget flower crowns, personal loans are the latest wedding trend, says RateSetter (Mozo) Rated: A

From eco friendly decor to cupcake tiers, there’s always a new wedding trend on the rise. But according to recent research by peer-to-peer lender (P2P), RateSetter, low rate personal loans are also becoming many couples’ wedding essential.

A big reason loved up couples are opting for personal loans to help pay for their big day is to minimise credit card debt – 40% of RateSetter customers admitted to have taken out a personal loan to avoid using their plastic.

Contrary to the popular belief that men are not as involved in wedding planning, the data revealed that men were 66% more likely to take out a personal loan, compared to women (34%).

India

Banks or FinTechs – Who Does a Better Job for Business Loans? (Entrepreneur) Rated: AAA

Budding entrepreneurs with revolutionary business ideas (usually) need financing to keep their operations running. Banks have encouraged the growth of small-scale industries with access to credit, but the supply cannot keep up with the demand. Enter: Financial technology companies, aka FinTechs.

The global FinTech industry is maturing rapidly – with over $41.7bn invested in just the first half of 2018. Part of those deals was for FinTech lenders, who have supported the trend of industrialisation by granting business financing to those who were denied from traditional banks.

Asia

In brief: P2P lender PeopleFund raises $ 11m from Kakao, 500 Startups, more (Tech In Asia) Rated: AAA

PeopleFund, Korea’s fast-growing financial technology platform that connects borrowers and investors, has secured US$11M in series B funding.

The funding was led by KakaoPay, a subsidiary of Kakao that allows payments within Korea’s popular chatting app, KakaoTalk.

Returning investors included Dayli Financial Group, 500 Startups, and D3 Jubilee.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

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