News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

two rather sweet snow coloured cats

1.UK - FinTech 

AltFi looks at industry predictions for digital banking in 2021. 


2. UK – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“Cryptocurrency holders can now cash out their bitcoin at 16,000 ATMs across the UK thanks to a collaboration between East London-based Cryptocurrency company BitcoinPoint and independent cash machine opwerator Cashzone. 

With interest in bitcoin surging, user-friendly processes to securely buy, sell and use cryptocurrency have long been a hurdle to widespread adoption.

BitcoinPoint has been working to break down these barriers with a mobile app that makes it possible to buy and sell bitcoin at a network of agents, from Bureaus de Change to newsagents, as well as online through an instant bank transfer solution via Open Banking.

“When we started the service early 2018, there was not enough emphasis on making it easier for people to simply buy £5 of bitcoin,” says BitcoinPoint CEO and former Credit Suisse VP Benoit Marzouk. “Since registering on a crypto exchange could be a complex process for non-tech savvy people, the scarce availability of bitcoin ATMs made accessibility of bitcoin problematic.“

The company, which has so far handled 20,000 transactions online and in store, believes the collaboration with Cashzone will finally deliver on the potential for mass adoption that will allow bitcoin to compete on a level playing field with fiat currencies.

To withdraw cash, bitcoin holders download the app, enter the amount desired to be withdrawn, scan a QR code, and receive an SMS message with a pin code to be entered at the ATM — no card or bank membership is required and the transaction is processed within seconds.” 


3. UK – AltFi 


The Mail looks at the Financial Services Compensation Scheme after Brexit. 

“British savers will still have up to £85,000 of cash savings safeguarded after Brexit, but a slump in the pound means those in the UK could have less money protected compared to those on the continent until 2025. 

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Bank of England have confirmed the £85,000 guarantee if a bank or building society goes bust would remain after the UK exits the Brexit transition period in a little over a week's time. 

But while the protection scheme, initially introduced under EU rules, will be kept after Brexit, the Bank of England no longer plans to keep the amount protected aligned with the €100,000 safeguarded under the EU's own guarantee. 

4. UK – AltFi 

Yahoo! Looks at a debt deal: 

“Natwest is set to purchase Metro Bank’s mortgage portfolio in a £3.1bn ($4.2bn) deal that would transfer 13,000 customers to the lender. 

The purchase price represents a 2.7% premium on the gross book value, with the portfolio having a weighted average current loan-to-value ratio of about 60%. It will result in a rough £83m gain for Metro Bank. 

Natwest chief executive Alison Rose said: “Growing our mortgage book is an important strategic priority as we build a bank that delivers sustainable returns for shareholders. 

“The addition of this loan book will supplement the strong organic growth that we continue to achieve.” 

It comes after the Natwest, the high street bank which owns RBS, swung back in the black during the third quarter of this year, after taking a significant hit due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. It beat earnings forecasts after setting aside a smaller-than-expected amount to deal with bad loans.” 

5. International – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“The Italian Banking Association is to kick of a technical feasibility study on the use of distributed ledger technology for a future digital euro. 

The initiative comes at the urging of the European Central bank for EU nations to contribute to the public policy debate around the creation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) covering the Euro-zone.

The experimentation project is divided into two work areas: one involving the infrastructure and distribution model to analyse technical feasibility, and the second focusing on programmability to experiment with use cases that can differentiate the central bank’s digital euro from the electronic payments already available.

The first work area will be carried out in collaboration with SIA, in synergy with the ABI Lab Chain banking infrastructure which already has 100 active nodes distributed throughout Italy, as well as with the banks that operate within it. So far the framework has been used for the development of an interbank reconciliation system.

The second work area will be divided into several working groups that will focus on use cases and will work in collaboration with the banks and NTT Data, PWC and Reply, which have made their resources available to the project. The initiative is open to all interested banks.”