News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

An archer taking aim.

1. UK – FinTech 


Crowdfundinsider reports the latest on the Binance saga: 


“Earlier today, the UK Financial Conduct Authority posted the “First Supervisory Notice” related to a statement by the FCA in June that Binance Markets Limited is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK. Binance Markets is part of the Binance Group. Binance is, of course, the largest crypto exchange in the world serving international markets. 

At the time of the announcement, the FCA cautioned individuals to be wary of promotions that promise high returns on investments in cryptoasset or cryptoasset-related products. The regulator added that most firms promoting crypto are not authorized by the FCA. 

In the notice posted today that included more information, the FCA admitted that Binance was ill-equipped to be regulated stating the “FCA considers that the Firm is not capable of being effectively supervised. This is of particular concern in the context of the Firm’s membership of a global Group which offers complex and high-risk financial products, which pose a significant risk to consumers.” 

As well, the FCA said it “considers that the Firm is failing to satisfy the effective supervision Threshold Condition” as Binance sought to offer its services in the UK. 

The FCA did state that it had imposed additional requirements on Binance Markets Limited and the firm complied with all aspects of the requirements while noting that nay regulated activity is not permitted without authorization. The FCA’s requirements apparently do not change any arrangements with users that use the products or services provided through” 


2. UK – FinTech 

Altfi reports: 


“W1tty, a new fintech app, has secured an electronic money institution (EMI) licence from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), ahead of a launch in 2022.  

The company, which plans to be fully regulated with a banking license eventually is building an app to offer a full suite of financial services via a paid-for plan.  

It currently has an EMI licence in Lithuania, and passporting rights across the European Economic Area (EEA) as well as having applied for an EU consumer credit licence. 

It will launch its suite of products, initially targeting students and other younger people - Generation Z - in Lithuania and Poland this Autumn with other EEA countries to follow. 

W1tty secured the EMI licence in the UK a year after it made its first application, and six months after it was granted its licence in Lithuania.  

Gene Lockhart, the former CEO of Mastercard International and Midland Bank, as well as an early investor in Nubank, Lord Chadlington as well as Lord Hill of Oareford, the former EU commissioner for financial services and Chancellor of the Dutchy of Lancaster have all recently joined the company’s advisory board.” 


3. US – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“Aumni, an investment analytics platform that provides the data infrastructure for private capital markets, has closed a $50 million Series B funding round led by JP Morgan. 

Pelion Venture Partners, WndrCo, Citadel Securities, Invesco Private Capital, Vanderbilt University and Kera Capital, SVB Financial Group, DLA Piper, Next Frontier Capital, Kickstart Fund, First Trust Capital Partners and Prelude, a Mercato Partners fund, joined the round.

Founded by former corporate attorneys Tony Lewis and Kelsey Chase, Aumni is an investment analytics platform for private capital markets that includes venture funds, family offices, university endowments, and corporate venture firms.

The platform combines AI and human expertise, to extract and analyse critical deal data buried in dense legal agreements. Since the platform's launch in 2018, it has analysed more than 100,000 investment transactions.” 



4. International – FinTech 

Altfi runs an opinion piece championing the Australian way of doing things:


“The recent news that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has given some of the largest UK banks six months to enable variable recurring payments (VRP) through their open banking APIs has put a spotlight on discussions of what innovation might come next. Although developments seem to be steaming ahead, open banking continues to be plagued by criticism from the UK’s larger banks - complaining of high costs, additional bureaucracy, and potentially extended timelines. 

While the UK is often touted as the world leader in open banking, we still have some work to do if we want to get big banks 'on side' to embrace its full potential. Notably, Australia’s unique open banking model is gathering momentum and should inspire all markets. In Australia, open banking typically refers to data sharing only. When I refer to open banking I mean data sharing or payment initiation facilitated by API globally. With that in mind, here are three key takeaways that should be adopted on a global scale to make open banking a success for all.” 


5. International – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“Open Banking platform TrueLayer has been authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) as a Payments Institution and established its new European headquarters in Dublin. 

The CBI authorisation enables TrueLayer to incorporate payment processing into its Open Banking network and follows the launch in January of its first payments product, PayDirect, which provides users with the ability to onboard customers and bypass card schemes using faster payment rails for account-to-account payouts and deposits.

TrueLayer’s choice of Ireland for its European HQ has been in part motivated by Dublin establishing itself as a European financial services centre and strategic hub for firms escaping post-Brexit trade restrictions.”