- Today’s main news: SoFi to roll out crypto trading with Coinbase. Walmart now offers Affirm loans. Funding Circle fund ups the ante on buyback strategy. Orca launches IFISA. LendDenClub cross 1 million borrowers, lenders milestone.
- Today’s main analysis: 2019 securitization update. How marketplace lending is a growing and dynamic global market. (A MUST-READ)
- Today’s thought-provoking articles: The 2009 housing market compared to today. Personal loan interest rates for February 2019. Why Midwest BankCentre created a separate digital-only bank. Some bankers are worse off than in 2009. Dragon Victory International analysis.
- SoFi to offer crypto trading through Coinbase partnership. This is the most interesting news story of the week. The largest cryptocurrency exchange partnering with one of the largest marketplace lenders to offer cryptocurrency trading will be a huge feather in the cap for both companies.
- Walmart now offers Affirm loans. We saw this one coming. In fact, I wonder why it took so long. Affirm snagging Walmart as a customer will catapult it to PayPal status fast.
- More on Affirm’s, Walmart’s partnership.
- Affirm CEO breaks it down.
- 2019 securitization update, Square charter status. Square is finally seeing some opposition to its banking aspirations. Excellent analysis from PeerIQ.
- The housing market of 2009 compared to today. A LendingTree analysis showing the markets where median home values have increased the most and the least. California is hot. The Mid-Atlantic and Eastern states are not.
- Personal loan interest rates for February 2019. A great breakdown from Nerdwallet.
- Why a small bank launched a separate digital-only branch. I think we’re going to see more of this. As more consumers demand digital banking, and Millennials are all over it, more brick-and-mortar banks will see the opportunity to launch digital-only branches as separate entities. It’s actually a smart move.
- SoFi to offer zero-fee ETFs.
- FTC orders SoFi to stop misleading consumers.
- Figure raises $65 million.
- Gen Xers have the largest auto loan burden.
- Elevate Credit posts earnings results.
- Elevate’s CIO wins award.
- Hunt Real Estate Capital buys RealtyMogul’s loan underwriting program.
- Kabbage says it’s prepared for the coming recession.
- Kabbage named one of the top workplaces among midsize companies in Atlanta.
- CrowdStreet has new self-directed IRA offering.
- Liquid P2P, Interest Radar partner.
- Direct Lending Investments suspends investor withdrawals.
- HSBC partners with Neptune Financial.
- Venmo debuts rainbow-colored card.
- Mastercard says digital identities will be very important in a few years.
- Credit Karma wants to be known for more than free credit scores.
- Brex launches credit card for e-commerce.
- YieldStreet raises $62 million.
- Guaranteed Rate listed as top loan originator.
- Americans focus on debt management more than retirement savings.
- Banking regulator challenging New York on fintech charters.
- Blockchain can be used for P2P lending.
- LoanStreet makes new hires.
- White Oak Business Capital hires new head of markets.
- Funding Circle fund adds firepower for buyback strategy.
- Orca Innovative Finance ISA launches.
- Experian backs off ClearScore merger.
- NatWest launches account aggregation.
- Open Banking could boom in 2019.
- Wonga reaches from beyond the grave.
- What you need to know about crowdfunding developments.
- Aave launches bill pay platform for crypto.
- Some bankers are worse off than in 2009. A look at global IPOs.
- Report on how marketplace lending is still a growing and dynamic market. A must-read from DBRS.
- Enova expands worldwide credit access.
- Blossom Capital gets $85 million from Robinhood, Funding Circle investors.
- How lending can earn your Bitcoin online. I’d like to see a service where small lenders can lend fiat and earn Bitcoin.
- India: LenDenClub crosses 1 million borrower, lender milestone. Congratulations! Excellent achievement.
- Mexico: PayPal to expand small business loans into country with new partnership. PayPal has begun its slow expansion internationally. Could it someday be a global powerhouse?
- China: Analysis of Dragon Victory International. A very interesting look from Seeking Alpha.
- Latin America: ID Finance Latam revenues climb 403%.
- India: Why startups, investors see big potential in lending.
- Ireland: Grid Finance suspends investments below 100,000 euro.
- Brazil: N26 expands into Brazil.
- China: Is the Chinese P2P lending boom over?
- Singapore: Fintech investments rose to $365 million USD in 2018.
- India: UDS ban will benefit P2P lending.
- Australia: How should accountants talk about fintechs?
- Singapore: Validus Capital raises $15 million for SME financing.
- China: BHB raises $20 million using fake bios of founding team.
- Africa: Fintechs inspire with mobile technology.
- China: Futu Securities downsizes U.S. IPO.
- United States
- Fintech Startup SoFi to Roll Out Crypto Trading Via Partnership With Coinbase (CoinTelegraph), Rated: AAA
- Millennial online lender SoFi to offer zero-fee ETFs, an unexpected rival for index fund giants Vanguard, iShares (CNBC), Rated: A
- FTC orders SoFi to stop misleading consumers (MPA Mag), Rated: B
- Digital lender founded by ex-SoFi CEO raises $ 65M to fuel expansion (American Banker), Rated: A
- Walmart teams with Affirm to offer point-of-sale loans (American Banker), Rated: AAA
- Affirm’s latest partnership brings its alternative financing to Walmart’s US stores and website (TechCrunch), Rated: A
- Loan app Affirm CEO breaks down new Walmart partnership (CNBC), Rated: A
- ABS Vegas – 2019 Securitization Update; Square Charter Status (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA
- The Housing Market’s 10 Year Challenge — Comparing The Housing Market of 2009 to Today (LendingTree), Rated: AAA
- Gen Xers Carry the Biggest Auto Loan Burden; Study Finds (One World Herald), Rated: A
- Personal Loan Interest Rates for February 2019 (Nerdwallet), Rated: AAA
- Elevate Credit (ELVT) Posts Earnings Results, Meets Expectations (Fairfield Current), Rated: A
- Hunt Real Estate Capital buys RealtyMogul’s proprietary loan underwriting program (Housing Wire), Rated: A
- Elevate’s Joan Kuehl Named Dallas ORBIE CIO of the Year (The Progress), Rated: B
- A Recession Coming? Small Business Lending Platform Kabbage Says It’s Prepared (Forbes), Rated: A
- Here’s more on the AJC Top Workplaces midsize companies (AJC.com), Rated: B
- Diversifying a Self-Directed IRA Made Simple with New Offering from CrowdStreet (The Progress), Rated: A
- Liquid P2P and Interest Radar Announce Strategic Partnership (Liquid P2P), Rated: A
- Direct Lending Investments Suspends Investor Withdrawals (Lend Academy), Rated: A
- Fintech deal will provide access to midsize businesses in U.S. (American Banker), Rated: A
- Venmo debuted a limited-edition rainbow-colored card (Business Insider), Rated: A
- Why digital identities will be so important in the next few years, according to Mastercard’s vice chairman (CNBC), Rated: A
- Credit Karma’s Dana Marineau: ‘We want users to think of us as more than just free credit scores’ (Tearsheet), Rated: A
- Why this small bank created a separate, digital-first brand (American Banker), Rated: AAA
- The Future Is Plastic: Fintech Unicorn Brex Launches New Credit Card For E-Commerce Merchants (Forbes), Rated: A
- YieldStreet raises $ 62M to democratise alternative investments in shipping, real estate and more (TechCrunch), Rated: A
- Guaranteed Rate Leads Mortgage Executive Magazine’s List of Top Loan Originators in America (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A
- Americans Focus On Debt Management But Lose Focus On Retirement Savings (Forbes), Rated: A
- U.S. banking regulator fights NY lawsuit over fintech charters (Reuters), Rated: A
- Blockchain and data protection: the main concerns (JDSupra), Rated: A
- LoanStreet positions for growth with new hires (LoanStreet Email), Rated: B
- White Oak Business Capital Hires Carol Bader Apicella to Expand Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Markets (GlobeNewswire), Rated: B
- United Kingdom
- Funding Circle fund adds firepower for buyback strategy (AltFi), Rated: AAA
- Orca Innovative Finance ISA Launches, Enables Diversified P2P Investment (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA
- Experian, ClearScore scrap merger plans (Reuters), Rated: A
- NatWest launches account aggregation as Open Banking takes hold (AltFi), Rated: A
- Will Open Banking boom in 2019? (AltFi), Rated: A
- Aave Launches Platform to Pay Bills Using Crypto (Finance Magnates), Rated: A
- Investing in crowdfunded development projects – what you need to know (Property Investor Today), Rated: A
- Failed Lender Reaching ‘From Beyond The Grave,’ MPs Warn (Law360), Rated: A
- Some Bankers Are Doing Even Worse Than in 2009 (The Washington Post), Rated: AAA
- Marketplace Lending – A Growing and Dynamic Global Market (DBRS Email), Rated: AAA
- Bank on it: How Enova’s software expands credit access worldwide (Built in Chicago), Rated: A
- Blossom Capital scores $ 85m from Robinhood and Funding Circle backers (AltFi), Rated: A
- Eight Simple Ways to Earn Bitcoin Online Legally (The Crypto Updates), Rated: B
- European Union
- Grid Finance suspends taking investments below € 100,000 (Irish Times), Rated: AAA
- Dragon Victory International: Exposure To The Chinese Crowdfunding Market At A Regulatory-Driven Discount (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA
- China Fintech Today: The P2P Boom Is Truly Over (SupChina), Rated: A
- A Crypto Project That Raised $ 20 Million Is Caught Faking Its Founding Team (CoinDesk), Rated: A
- Tencent-backed brokerage firm downsizes US IPO amid weak market demand (Technode), Rated: A
- How should accountants talk to clients about fintechs? (In the Black), Rated: A
- LenDenClub crosses 1,00,000 borrowers and lenders milestone (News Barons), Rated: AAA
- Why Do Fintech Startups and Investors See a Huge Potential in Lending? (Entrepreneur), Rated: AAA
- Banning of UDS to benefit P2P Lending Industry (Inventiva), Rated: A
- Singapore fintech investments rose two-fold to US$ 365m in 2018 (SBR.com.sg), Rated: AAA
- Validus Capital raises $ 15m for SME financing (Fintech Futures), Rated: A
- Latin America
- PayPal expands its small business loans initiative to Mexico (Leaprate), Rated: AAA
- ID Finance eyes ‘pivotal moment’ for Latam fintech as revenue in region climbs 403% (Fintech Finance), Rated: A
- Challenger bank N26 expands to Brazil (Fintech Futures), Rated: A
- How FinTech Companies Inspire Africa With Mobile Technology (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA
Fintech Startup SoFi to Roll Out Crypto Trading Via Partnership With Coinbase (CoinTelegraph), Rated: AAA
Fintech startup SoFi — known for its online lending services — is partnering with major United States-based crypto exchange Coinbase to roll out crypto trading support, according to a CNBC report Feb. 26.
Millennial online lender SoFi to offer zero-fee ETFs, an unexpected rival for index fund giants Vanguard, iShares (CNBC), Rated: A
The race to zero-fee exchange-traded funds has found an unlikely competitor: Online lending and personal finance platform SoFi, which has filed for two index ETFs that will waive management fees for the first year. In making the move to zero-fee ETFs, the online lender is crashing an ETF party dominated by Vanguard and BlackRock‘s iShares.
FTC orders SoFi to stop misleading consumers (MPA Mag), Rated: B
The Federal Trade Commission has ordered online lender SoFi to stop lying about how much borrowers can save by refinancing with the company.
Digital lender founded by ex-SoFi CEO raises $ 65M to fuel expansion (American Banker), Rated: A
The new company founded by Mike Cagney, the former embattled chief executive of Social Finance, plans to announce a $65 million funding round on Wednesday, bolstering firm’s expansion into other financial services, including wealth management.
With the new venture, Cagney is using some of the strategies from his tenure at SoFi — like diversification into areas typically only occupied by traditional banks. However, the new company, Figure, is focusing on different customers, and it’s taking steps to avoid scandals similar to the ones that saw Cagney step down from the SoFi helm.
Walmart teams with Affirm to offer point-of-sale loans (American Banker), Rated: AAA
Walmart will offer its customers point-of-sale loans for the first time — both on its website and in nearly 4,000 U.S. stores — under a partnership with the Silicon Valley lender Affirm.
Under the deal, Walmart shoppers will be able to get Affirm loans of three, six or 12 months to finance purchases ranging from $150 to $2,000. The loans are already being offered in Walmart stores, and they will be available to Walmart’s online shoppers in the coming weeks.
Affirm’s latest partnership brings its alternative financing to Walmart’s US stores and website (TechCrunch), Rated: A
The companies announced this morning that Affirm’s financing options would be made available in more than 4,000 Walmart Supercenters across the U.S., and will roll out to Walmart.com in the weeks ahead.
The offering will go live across Walmart Supercenters nationwide, except in Iowa, West Virginia and Puerto Rico, and will be soon available on Walmart.com.
Loan app Affirm CEO breaks down new Walmart partnership (CNBC), Rated: A
ABS Vegas – 2019 Securitization Update; Square Charter Status (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA
In regulatory news, Square’s ILC charter application has received opposition from 37 community groups. The groups are concerned about Square’s CRA activities and have asked the FDIC to bolster Square’s CRA requirements. Before this letter from community advocates, nearly all of the 15 letters the FDIC received were in favor of Square’s bid. Square is the furthest along the path to getting an ILC charter and its experience will determine whether other FinTechs follow its lead.
Structured Credit Investor magazine explores the challenges facing the maturing marketplace lending sector. Issuers need to distinguish between the borrower experience that they provide and manage liquidity. The article also makes the point that the sector is ripe for consolidation, although we haven’t seen any M&A yet.
2019 Securitization Update
The first two months of 2019 saw 5 securitization deals totaling $1.7 Bn in new issuance. The issuance volume represents a 23% drop over that seen in the first two months of 2018, as the market recovers from the volatility in equity and credit markets seen at the end of 2018. Total securitization issuance now stands at $46.2 Bn, with 147 deals issued to date.
The Housing Market’s 10 Year Challenge — Comparing The Housing Market of 2009 to Today (LendingTree), Rated: AAA
When the real estate bubble burst in late 2008, many Americans saw their home values fall drastically, but a lot has changed in the 10 years since — housing prices have rebounded from their lows during the Great Recession. And though prices are now starting to cool, in many cases, home values have even exceeded their 2006 highs.
On average, median home values have increased by nearly $50,000 across the 50 largest metros in the United States since 2009.
Metros where housing prices have recovered the most since 2009
San Jose, Calif.
Median home value 2009: $638,300
Median home value 2017: $957,700
Median home value change: $319,400
Median unemployment rate change: -6.4%
Median household income change: $32,991
Median home value 2009: $591,600
Median home value 2017: $849,500
Median home value change: $257,900
Median unemployment rate change: -5.4%
Median household income change: $27,889
Median home value 2009: $463,600
Median home value 2017: $617,100
Median home value change: $153,500
Median unemployment rate change: -5.0%
Median household income change: $11,467
Gen Xers Carry the Biggest Auto Loan Burden; Study Finds (One World Herald), Rated: A
According to the loan comparison website, the median balance of Gen Xers who have auto loans is $18,741 is higher than other age groups. It is 9% more than baby boomers’ $17,185 median balance. This is higher than millennials’ $16,200 and 37 percent more than the lowest median balance of $13,666 held by Gen Z.
Personal Loan Interest Rates for February 2019 (Nerdwallet), Rated: AAA
Personal loan interest rates, whether you’re considering a loan from a bank, credit union or online lender, generally range from about 6% to 36%. The actual rate you receive depends on factors such as your credit score and history, annual income, existing debt and where you get the loan.
Online lenders offer the lowest starting interest rates on personal loans to borrowers with good to excellent credit.
LightStream and Marcus both require a minimum credit score of 660. LightStream accepts joint applications, and one applicant can have a credit score lower than its minimum. SoFi has a slightly higher credit score requirement and requires at least $45,000 in annual income.
Elevate Credit (ELVT) Posts Earnings Results, Meets Expectations (Fairfield Current), Rated: A
Elevate Credit (NYSE:ELVT) announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 11th. The company reported $0.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.09, Bloomberg Earnings reports. The business had revenue of $207.29 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $212.42 million. Elevate Credit had a return on equity of 15.72% and a net margin of 1.59%. Elevate Credit updated its FY 2019 guidance to $0.55-0.65 EPS.
Hunt Real Estate Capital buys RealtyMogul’s proprietary loan underwriting program (Housing Wire), Rated: A
Hunt Real Estate Capital, which offers financing for all types of commercial real estate, will soon have a new underwriting system to help it originate those loans, as the company is buying a proprietary loan underwriting system from RealtyMogul.
Elevate’s Joan Kuehl Named Dallas ORBIE CIO of the Year (The Progress), Rated: B
Elevate Credit, Inc. (“Elevate”) today announced that Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer Joan Kuehl has been named the Large Enterprise CIO of the Year by the Dallas ORBIE CIO of the Year Awards. The award honors chief information officers who have demonstrated excellence in technology leadership.
The world is bracing for a recession, with the latest data showing three quarters of economists in the U.S. expect it to occur by the end of 2021
If those predictions prove true, it will be the first major economic downturn for some of the nation’s leading fintechs. Born out of the ruins of the recession, these startups have enjoyed nearly a decade of success buoyed by strong economic growth, a bull run in the stock market and low unemployment.
Here’s more on the AJC Top Workplaces midsize companies (AJC.com), Rated: B
Kabbage has been named to the list for five consecutive years and this is its first year in the top five. The private financial technology company, founded in 2009, has 489 global employes and 367 at its U.S. headquarters in Atlanta. Flexibility at work and perks, such as a daily catered lunch and snacks, are among reasons employees appreciate working for Kabbage. Wellness benefits include fitness classes, health equipment onsite, biweekly meditation classes, CPR training, an annual flu shot clinic and sponsoring sports clubs. It also fully pays health benefits for individuals and provides annual bonuses and a 401(k) match. Through its sabbatical program, employees of five years can receive six weeks of paid time off and an additional $6,000. In 2018, Kabbage participated in the Atlanta PRIDE parade and also took a stand against gun violence after the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School. Workers in 2019 will build a Habitat for Humanity home as part of its Kabbage Kares program, which also has supported PAWS Atlanta, Easter Seals and the Epilepsy Foundation.
Diversifying a Self-Directed IRA Made Simple with New Offering from CrowdStreet (The Progress), Rated: A
CrowdStreet, an online marketplace for direct equity investment in commercial real estate (CRE), today launched a streamlined, investor-friendly approach to investing qualified retirement account funds into commercial real estate offerings. This new option makes it easier than ever for individuals to access CRE investments with their self-directed IRAs (SDIRA), thus reducing their investment exposure to a volatile stock market and achieving more independence in managing their investments.
Liquid P2P and Interest Radar Announce Strategic Partnership (Liquid P2P), Rated: A
Liquid P2P and Interest Radar are pleased to announce that they have entered into a strategic partnership. The two third-party investing services for online peer-lending giant Lending Club will combine strengths under a single platform to deliver a more comprehensive automated tool with a patent-pending liquidity solution.
Direct Lending Investments Suspends Investor Withdrawals (Lend Academy), Rated: A
Earlier this month Brendan Ross, the CEO of Direct Lending Investments, Inc., sent a letter to investors notifying them that they have suspended withdrawals and redemptions effective February 8, 2019. Lend Academy was able to obtain a copy of this investor letter, dated February 11, that provides some color into what happened. The reason given was the delinquency of a large holding, VOIP Guardian, a telecom receivables factoring company.
Fintech deal will provide access to midsize businesses in U.S. (American Banker), Rated: A
Add HSBC to the list of banks partnering with commercial online lenders.
The bank on Tuesday announced a partnership with Neptune Financial, a San Francisco online lender that focuses on businesses with $10 million to $100 million in assets. The bank estimates that, with the access it will get to Neptune customers, the deal represents a $1.5 trillion opportunity.
Venmo debuted a limited-edition rainbow-colored card (Business Insider), Rated: A
Venmo, the PayPal-owned peer-to-peer (P2P) giant, debuted a limited-edition rainbow-colored version of its physical card product. The card will function the same as regular Venmo cards, allowing customers to pay wherever Mastercard is accepted, split costs and tips, withdraw funds from select ATMs, and manage their Venmo balance, but it will only be available for as long as supplies last, according to Venmo.
Why digital identities will be so important in the next few years, according to Mastercard’s vice chairman (CNBC), Rated: A
The pace with which we are moving toward the internet of things is “very rapid” but we “can’t have the internet of everyone without the inclusion of everyone,” according to the vice chairman of payments giant Mastercard.
“You have to start focusing on how does the human get involved, and that’s going to be through having a digital identity,” Ann Cairns told CNBC’s Karen Tso on Monday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Credit Karma’s Dana Marineau: ‘We want users to think of us as more than just free credit scores’ (Tearsheet), Rated: A
Today’s marketer on the hot seat is Dana Marineau, Credit Karma’s vice president of brand, creative and communications. People love Credit Karma for its free credit scores, but the company provides so many other free tools. Dana’s team is tasked with elevating the brand beyond just free credit scores, as a place to get help with financial decisions and achieve financial progress. She brings a 15 year experience at EA, working on many of the top sports games in the business.
Why this small bank created a separate, digital-first brand (American Banker), Rated: AAA
When Midwest BankCentre, a community bank in St. Louis, launched the digital-first Rising Bank in February, it joined the ranks of other financial companies —generally large players such as JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and MUFG Union Bank — that have created separate, digital-only brands. Unlike them, the $1.9 billion-asset Midwest hopes to keep a community bank feel at the internet-only unit.
The Future Is Plastic: Fintech Unicorn Brex Launches New Credit Card For E-Commerce Merchants (Forbes), Rated: A
Brex, a San Francisco credit card startup that reached a valuation of $1.1 billion late last year, 22 months after its founding, is launching its second product, a physical credit card for e-commerce companies. Its first card, targeted to venture-backed tech startups, has attracted more than 3,000 customers by providing higher spending limits and simplifying the application process.
YieldStreet raises $ 62M to democratise alternative investments in shipping, real estate and more (TechCrunch), Rated: A
YieldStreet — which provides a platform for making alternative investments in areas like real estate, marine/shipping, legal finance, commercial loans and other opportunities that in the past were only open to institutional investors — is today announcing that it has raised $62 million in a Series B round of funding.
Guaranteed Rate Leads Mortgage Executive Magazine’s List of Top Loan Originators in America (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A
For the seventh consecutive year, Guaranteed Rate has the most loan originators of any lender on Mortgage Executive Magazine’s annual list of the “Top 200 Mortgage Originators in America,” including the number one originator.
Guaranteed Rate led the way with 36 originators ranking within Mortgage Executive Magazine’s Top 200, including three of the top five. Shant Banosian of Boston, Mass., was named the nation’s 2018 Top Originator by funding $536 Million in total loan volume.
Americans Focus On Debt Management But Lose Focus On Retirement Savings (Forbes), Rated: A
Our minds are wired to prioritize the near-term over the long-term. We shouldn’t be surprised that a new survey by New York Life shows most parents list paying down existing debt as their number one financial priority over longer term goals like saving for college or retirement. However, the number of American parents focused on primarily paying down debt is astonishing, with roughly 72 percent of parents saying their primary financial focus in 2019 will be debt management.
The number was even higher for younger parents, ages 18-34. Roughly 80 percent said debt reduction is their primary focus.
U.S. banking regulator fights NY lawsuit over fintech charters (Reuters), Rated: A
The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has asked a Manhattan federal court to dismiss a lawsuit by a New York financial regulator over its plan to issue banking charters to fintech companies, saying the lawsuit is premature.
Blockchain and data protection: the main concerns (JDSupra), Rated: A
Blockchain’s usage is no longer limited to digital crypto currencies, as blockchain databases may be deployed in innumerable circumstances and scenarios, including, for instance, within the financial services and insurance sectors for money transfer, peer-to-peer lending and transfer of securities, as well as automatic execution of contracts.
LoanStreet positions for growth with new hires (LoanStreet Email), Rated: B
After the launch of LoanStreet’s commercial lending product and the announcement of their $6.5 million funding round, LoanStreet – the first fully-integrated platform that streamlines the process of sharing, managing, and originating loans – has appointed three credit union industry veterans to support LoanStreet’s aggressive growth.
These new hires include Mike Doherty, Managing Director and Head of Credit Union Sales; Tony Harter, Business Development Director; and Joe Parvin, Business Development Director.
White Oak Business Capital Hires Carol Bader Apicella to Expand Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Markets (GlobeNewswire), Rated: B
White Oak Business Capital, Inc. (“WOBC”), an affiliate of White Oak Global Advisors, LLC, has announced that Carol Apicella has joined the firm as Senior Vice President and Senior Business Development Officer. Apicella will be responsible for expanding the firm’s markets in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
Funding Circle fund adds firepower for buyback strategy (AltFi), Rated: AAA
The portfolio, an investment trust, of loans originated by Funding Circle lowered its dividend expectations amid lower projected returns last year prompting a discount to its net asset value.
Following a move to a more than 10 per cent discount last year it started share buybacks in a bid to narrow its discount. It has now made additional capital available from its free cash flow to be deployed into share buybacks, the fund said yesterday.
Orca Innovative Finance ISA Launches, Enables Diversified P2P Investment (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA
Orca Money is finally launching its long-anticipated Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA). Orca’s spin on the savings vehicle allows investors to spread their money across multiple peer-to-peer lenders (P2P) thus providing a heightened degree of diversification. Additionally, Orca Money conducts due diligence on behalf of IFISA investors.
Currently, the Orca IFISA allows access to 5 P2P platforms: Lending Works, Assetz Capital, Landbay, Octopus Choice and Lending Crowd.
Experian, ClearScore scrap merger plans (Reuters), Rated: A
Experian Plc, the world’s biggest credit data firm, said on Wednesday that it had agreed with rival ClearScore to abandon their proposed merger, after Britain’s competition watchdog indicated that it may block the deal.
NatWest launches account aggregation as Open Banking takes hold (AltFi), Rated: A
It’s been a long time coming, but Open Banking is finally spreading through the traditional banking industry, this week with the launch of account aggregation for NatWest customers.
The RBS subsidiary becomes the UK’s 4th bank to let customers connect rival current accounts.
Will Open Banking boom in 2019? (AltFi), Rated: A
It has been over a year since the Open Banking UK initiative under the Competition and Markets Authority order and Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) was launched and has become one of the industry’s biggest technology and regulatory shake ups in recent years. It is no surprise that the initiative’s first year has seen a relatively low consumer uptake. This has been coupled with reports that consumers’ knowledge of the scheme appears to be markedly low.
Aave Launches Platform to Pay Bills Using Crypto (Finance Magnates), Rated: A
In an attempt to bring crypto closer to the mainstream, the London-based fintech startup has announced the launch of Aave Pay.
The app will allow its users to pay their utility bills using digital coins by converting crypto into fiat in real-time using bank transfer facility. The company is claiming that the platform can be used to business expenses as well including employee salaries, income taxes, and other commercial or corporate expenses.
Investing in crowdfunded development projects – what you need to know (Property Investor Today), Rated: A
You can invest in peer to peer development loans for the short term or in an Innovative Finance ISA for a longer commitment period, but with the potential to earn tax free returns.
By comparison, a peer to peer lending platform with its own development company will have much more control over its projects and be able to give you more detailed and trustworthy updates.
Failed Lender Reaching ‘From Beyond The Grave,’ MPs Warn (Law360), Rated: A
Failed payday lender Wonga is damaging the finances of thousands of customers “from beyond the grave” because they cannot seek redress for allegedly missold loans as the company was not covered…
Some Bankers Are Doing Even Worse Than in 2009 (The Washington Post), Rated: AAA
It may not feel like it, but some corners of banking are suffering as badly as they did during the depths of the financial crisis. Global volumes of initial public offerings and share placings in January and February have been nearly 60 percent lower than in the same period last year. The numbers are worse than the first two months of 2009. If activity doesn’t pick up soon, it would be worrying evidence of the fragility of investor sentiment.
The hope is that the lull is temporary, and technical. The government shutdown in Washington has gummed up U.S. IPOs. Uncertainty over the U.K.’s future relationship with Europe just drags on. And the December stock-market wobble probably killed off deals that were being planned for the window that traditionally opens between January and the start of the full-year earnings season in late February.
Marketplace Lending – A Growing and Dynamic Global Market (DBRS Email), Rated: AAA
I wanted to share with you a new joint report from our U.S. and European structured finance teams. The new report, attached to this email, analyzes the growth of the marketplace lending market around the globe.
The commentary includes the following topics:
— The evolution in finance, from traditional banking to FinTech.
— FinTech’s influence on marketplace lending around the globe.
— Growth hurdles.
— Securitization considerations.
Bank on it: How Enova’s software expands credit access worldwide (Built in Chicago), Rated: A
Not all credit histories are created equal.
That’s the case for a large part of the world’s population who can’t get access to a loan from a traditional credit provider — like a bank — creating a world in which the hardest working people don’t always get access to the credit they need. Enova, however, believes it has a solution. The fintech company draws on the power of machine learning and data to offer products that expand access to credit for consumers and small businesses.
Blossom Capital scores $ 85m from Robinhood and Funding Circle backers (AltFi), Rated: A
Blossom Capital, which has already backed five startups including rental marketplace Fat Lama, today raised $85m which it will use to lead Series A rounds of between $5m and $10m in Europe.
Eight Simple Ways to Earn Bitcoin Online Legally (The Crypto Updates), Rated: B
Earn Bitcoins as the interest payments: If you have earned some Bitcoins already, you can put the Bitcoins to earn for you. Lend them out at particular interest rate. You can lend the Bitcoins directly to someone known at a greed interest rate and repayment period. You need to assess trustworthiness of borrower. Peer to peer Bitcoin lending is another way to let the earned Bitcoins earn for you. There are many peer-to-peer lending websites where the borrowers post the borrowing requests. Over these websites, you can act as a lender. It is also possible to fund the small portion of numbers of loans to reduce the risk.
Grid Finance suspends taking investments below € 100,000 (Irish Times), Rated: AAA
One of the largest providers of peer-to-peer loans in the State has shut down a key part of its business aimed at smaller investors, blaming an absence of regulation in the crowdfunding space.
Grid Finance, which is backed by Enterprise Ireland, wrote to holders of its “Brick” accounts – that facilitate the investment of up to €100,000 – in recent days stating that it would withdraw the offering from the marketplace.
Dragon Victory International: Exposure To The Chinese Crowdfunding Market At A Regulatory-Driven Discount (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA
In recent years as China winds down its industrial and manufacturing powerhouse growth, it’s looking to other developed nations to determine which platforms it should invest in and pave the way to sustained economic growth. As most other major developed nations have done over the past century, financial services and engineering have been a very profitable platform and companies in China are quick to launch their own services to capitalize on the triple-digit growth in online financial services exhibited since 2003.
Similar to Hexindai (HX), which I’ve previously covered as a leading online lender which is capitalizing on the middle class appetite for debt to finance their lives and vacations, Dragon Victory International Limited (LYL) is taking on the crowdfunding segment in the People’s Republic of China. Similar to countless other platforms around the world, the company’s services are around financing new companies and capitalizing entrepreneurs through public funding and they already have over 4.5M users who use their services, a number nearly doubling each year.
China Fintech Today: The P2P Boom Is Truly Over (SupChina), Rated: A
This year, the government has continued to lead a reorganization of the industry:
- More companies will die: As of February 17, only 60 percent of online lending institutions had disclosed their operational information for January 2019, including five problematic platforms.
- However, the current asset quality of the online lending industry has improved significantly according the data from firms that did report.
- As of the end of January 2019, the accumulated amount of the online P2P online loan industry was about 7.78 trillion yuan ($1.16 trillion). The total loan amount in January was 91.4 billion yuan ($13.61 billion), down 55.1 percent year-on-year and down 1.3 percent from the previous month.
- Further consolidation of industry players is certain. Some experts quoted in media reports predict that the scale of future online loans will continue to shrink because of regulation.
- Some listed companies, such as Aoma Electric and Panda Financial Companies, have abandoned their P2P businesses.
- Aoma Electric issued a letter of concern to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on February 14, attributing the decision to the broader economic slowdown, and a high number of overdue loans.
- Panda Gold Control in 2018 was also dragged down by its P2P business, and expects a net loss of 41.16 million ($6.13 million) to 57.63 million yuan ($8.58 million) in 2018. Faced with the uncertainty of the P2P sector, Panda Gold Control chose to divest.
How should accountants talk to clients about fintechs? (In the Black), Rated: A
Like the ombudsman’s office, ASIC has also made information available to educate consumers and advisers, including on its MoneySmart Borrowing Basics and Peer-to-Peer Lending sites.
Is any flexibility possible, Shiel wonders, with a peer-to-peer lending model in which the borrower likely doesn’t know who is providing the funds?
LenDenClub crosses 1,00,000 borrowers and lenders milestone (News Barons), Rated: AAA
LenDenClub, one of India’s fastest growing peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms, recently crossed an important landmark with more than 1,00,000 borrowers and lenders on its platform. The breakdown of borrowers to lenders is 83,300 and 16700, respectively. The company crossed this milestone by keeping up with latest market trends, and saw an increase in the use of its product InstaMoney, which was launched in June 2018.
Why Do Fintech Startups and Investors See a Huge Potential in Lending? (Entrepreneur), Rated: AAA
Today, thanks to the ongoing digitization, borrowing has become as easy as it can get in India. For contrast, all it takes now is the touch of a few buttons, answers to a few verification-related questions, and anyone can receive a loan in a matter of hours or days, if not minutes. And all of this is without any collateral and while enjoying the comfort of your home. Now, compare this with taking a day off to go to the bank, doing extensive paperwork, visiting frequently to check the progress of your loan application, and ultimately, getting your application rejected because of the loan officer’s misjudgement. All while wasting two months of time in the constant to and fro and taking multiple days off from your office.
It is beyond doubt that the advent of fintech startups has altered the game of lending in India. It has become both simpler and convenient to borrow using their revolutionary approaches driven by state-of-the-art technologies. Currently, more than 1,500 fintech startups (of all shapes and sizes) are catering to the Indian market, and more than half of these startups have been launched over the last 3 years. This gives us a clear picture of how lucrative the sector is becoming for our startup ecosystem. But what is essentially fuelling this trend? Let’s find out.
Banning of UDS to benefit P2P Lending Industry (Inventiva), Rated: A
The latest ordinance of the Banning of Unregulated Deposits (UDS) 2019, was passed by the government to provide a comprehensive mechanism to ban UDS as well as to protect the interest of depositors. This is in line with the Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines on the NBFC-P2P sector, issued in October 2017 to regulate the unorganized lending business in the country.
Singapore fintech investments rose two-fold to US$ 365m in 2018 (SBR.com.sg), Rated: AAA
US$102.2m of the total funds raised went to lending fintech companies such as the homegrown Funding Societies.
Fintech investments in Singapore more than doubled to US$365m in 2018 from US$180m in 2017, putting the country amongst the top five fintech markets by funds raised last year in Asia Pacific, behind China, India, Australia and Japan, according to Accenture’s analysis of CB Insights data. The number of deals in the country rose to 71 from 61 in 2017, making it the third busiest market in the region, behind only China and India.
Validus Capital raises $ 15m for SME financing (Fintech Futures), Rated: A
Validus Capital, a Singapore-based SME financing platform, has raised SGD 20.5 million ($15.2 million) in a Series B funding round, led by FMO, a Dutch public-private development bank.
PayPal expands its small business loans initiative to Mexico (Leaprate), Rated: AAA
Online payment giant PayPal launched its Working Capital initiative in 2013 as an alternative method for business to access working capital much faster than through traditional means. Many small and medium-sized business (SMB) clients embraced the program and since then the company has advanced more than $6 billion in loans to over 170,000 businesses in the UK, US, Germany and Australia.
PayPal also recently revealed that it has partnered with Konfio, a Mexican online lender that utilizes unconventional data sources to facilitate fast credit assessments, in a deal that will allow PayPal to extend its Business loan and working capital programs to Mexican businesses.
ID Finance eyes ‘pivotal moment’ for Latam fintech as revenue in region climbs 403% (Fintech Finance), Rated: A
ID Finance, the fintech company operating in Europe and Latin America, saw revenue of $49m in 2018. This represents growth of 236% for the business, which was formally separated from its operations in Russia and CIS region last year.
The company is enjoying particularly strong growth in Latam, one of the world’s fastest growing markets for fintech adoption thanks to high mobile penetration and a sizeable underbanked population – according to the World Bank 61% of Mexico’s population is excluded from the traditional banking system, while 40% of Brazil’s 207m population are blacklisted. The company now has 141 employees in Latam and saw revenue growth of 403% in the region last year.
Challenger bank N26 expands to Brazil (Fintech Futures), Rated: A
Germany-based mobile challenger bank N26 is powering on yet again as it has revealed its plans to expand to Brazil.
How FinTech Companies Inspire Africa With Mobile Technology (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA
With the potential for rapid growth and job creation, FinTech firms in Africa have caught the attention of global investors. According to the London Stock Exchange Group’s 2019 “Companies to Inspire Africa” report, which highlights these firms, the FinTech sector has the second highest growth rate representation of technology and telecoms as well as financial services. As it stands, companies in this space represent more than a quarter of 360 featured firms from 32 different countries. Pan-African payments firm Cellulant is among the companies that appeared in the first and second editions of the report.