News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd rejoice at a sporting event

1.UK - FinTech 

AltFi reports: 

“Property lender CrowdProperty has announced a series of changes to its board, with the latest appointment of former Allica Bank CEO Mark Stephens as a non-executive director. 

Stephens, who retired last year from Allica and handed the CEO role to Richard Davies, is also joined by a newly-promoted chairman and former ThinCats boss John Mould, who joined CrowdProperty's board last year but has now been promoted to chair. 

Finally CrowdProperty co-founder Simon Zutshi has moved into a board observer role following the sale of his separate Property Investors Network business last year.” 


2. UK – FinTech 

Crowdfundinsider reports: 

“Proptee, a new property investment platform that announced in November 2020 that it was planning to launch operations in the United Kingdom in January 2021, has released an update in which it noted that they believe that as a company or business, they’ll do better if they actually share everything with their community and obtain feedback during each stage of their ongoing development process. 

Benedek Toth, Co-founder at Proptee writes in a blog post that the company thinks that no matter what type of business we may be involved in, having clearly defined goals and objectives (all written down) “massively increases your chances of success.” 

Toth added that following their own intuition and getting inspired by firms such as Monzo and Trello, they’ve decided to compile an overview of their current product roadmap on their publicly available Trello board.” 


3. International – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 

“As part of an experimental programme led by the Banque de France, more than ten transactions on fund units, for a total amount of more than €2 million, were carried out in December 2020 on a blockchain-based mututal funds platform from IZNES using central bank digital currency (CBDC). 

The pilot, conducted in collaboration with SETL, Citi, CACEIS, Groupama AM, OFI AM and DXC, marks the first settlement of fund units using CBDC.

The initiative is one of a number of different experiments underway at the Banque de France on potential applications for a central bank digital currency in interbank settlements.

For this project, SETL provided the DLT technology as well as the technology behind the issuance and redemption of CBDC tokens, in liaison with the technology team of the Banque de France and IZNES. DXC supervised the security issues.

Citi and CACEIS acted as commercial banks to use CBDC tokens created by the Banque de France. CACEIS also acted as custodian of the "Groupama Entreprises" fund. Groupama AM acted as fund manager, while OFI AM and SETL acted as proprietary investors.

Elsewhere in Europe, Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB) and Deutsche Börse’s post-trade services provider Clearstream successfully processed their first live blockchain-based end-to-end fund transactions, using FundsDLT, a decentralised platform for fund transaction processing. The project, which entailed an end investor placing a fund transaction request via a mobile app directly on the private blockchain, reduced the overall processing time from the placing of the order to confirmation from several hours to only a few minutes.” 


4. International – FinTech 


German alternative lender Creditshelf has secured a new €40mline of funding for its SME loans from Amsterdam Trade Bank, as it continues to pursue an institutional funding strategy, according to AltFi.  

Creditshelf, which launched in 2014, continued to grow its lending during the pandemic. In 2020 it saw a 12 per cent growth in loan originations in 2020 to €98m, a steep slow down from an acceleration in its growth in 2019 when it saw 75 per cent rise in originations.  

Nonetheless, the firm continues to strike institutional funding deals. Amsterdam Trade Bank, part of Alfa Bank Group, will now fund loans to German SMEs via Creditshelf’s platform joining a number of other institutional lenders including BNP Paribas Asset Management and the European Investment Fund  

Both became investors in 2020 with the European Investment Fund acting as anchor investor for the creditshelf Loan Fund.” 


5. International – FinTech 


Sweden's five largest banks have formalised an information sharing pact with the country's police force aimed at cracking down on money laundering, according to Finextra. 

“Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, Nordea, SEB and Swedbank last June commenced a pilot project of the Swedish Anti Money Laundering Initiative (Samlit), collectively sharing information on methods, suspicious transaction patterns and new types of crime that have been jointly identified.

The banks says the pilot phase has had "promising results" and in co-operation with the police are to develop a more formal framework for collaboration and governance in the coming months.

Samlit will also promote legislative and regulative changes to improve the possibility of information sharing and will strive towards an increased number of participating banks to increase the efficiency of the co-operation.”