1.UK – P2P/IFISA
GROWTH Street has launched its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA), which offers higher returns but less liquidity than its classic product, reports P2P Finance News.
“The peer-to-peer business lender has informed its customers of the new tax wrapper and confirmed that it will offer a fixed rate of 5.8 per cent with a one-year term.
Its non-ISA product offers returns of up to 5.3 per cent with 30-day access.
With the classic Growth Street account, investors are matched directly with borrowers.
In contrast, with the ISA account, funds are invested in an unlisted bond for a period of 12 months, Growth Street said on its website.”
2. UK - Regulation
The scandal at London Capital and Finance takes anorther turn, as a group of bondholders asks the Financial Conduct Authority to conduct its investigation under Section 73 of the Financial Services Act (which deals with “serious regulatory failure”) rather than under Section 77 (covering issues of “public interest”.)
Lawyers will no doubt enjoy arguing the finer points. Since nobody is holding their hands up and saying 'yes, I knew it was a high risk investment and I thought it was a risk I could afford to take', we'd like to know what conversations did people have on those 'tapes' that we were told that people in the FCA were listening to?
3. UK – AltFi
P2PFN on stress-test research:
“LANDBAY has commissioned an independent stress test that found its investors would still receive returns of more than three per cent in an economic downturn.
The peer-to-peer lender, which specialises in buy-to-let mortgages, commissioned MIAC Analytics (MIAC) to provide the independent analysis of its £235m portfolio.
“We’ve chosen to undertake this stress test now because there is a great deal of uncertainty in the economy; Brexit is potentially approaching, and we still don’t know what Britain’s future relationship with the EU will be and therefore what that may mean for the UK economy,” Landbay said.
“While employment levels in the UK have remained resilient, house prices (at least in London) have been softening and interest rates have (slowly) been moving up. There are signs from across the world that economic growth is slowing down, particularly in China and the Eurozone.”
These stress tests are usually undertaken by the UK’s largest banks and building societies as part of ramped-up regulatory requirements after the 2008 financial crisis.
The scenarios, which are designed by the Bank of England, simulate a number of worst-case scenarios, such as a recession where GDP falls by five per cent, unemployment rising to 9.5 per cent or house prices falling by 33 per cent.”
4. UK – AltFi
AltFi reports on what it claims is Europe’s most valuable FinTech.
“TransferWise has sealed a significant funding round valuing the business at $3.5bn, making the currency operation Europe’s most valuable fintech.
The London-based firm raised $292m from new and existing investors. In total the eight-year-old start up has raised $689m from two rounds of funding.
This latest cash call was led by venture capital firms Lead Edge Capital, Lone Pine Capital and Vitruvian Partners. The round also saw existing investors Andreessen Horowitz and Baillie Gifford up their stake in the business.
The firm said it will use the cash to launch its debit card in the US and Asia this year and boost global staff numbers by almost 50 per cent."
5. UK – AltFi
“We are Europe’s fastest-growing FinTech by assets, valuation, profits and revenue. The business’ mission is to provide small and medium-sized growth companies with the debt finance they need to compete against large corporates.
Our big data and machine learning platform, OakNorth Analytical Intelligence (ON AI), is how we’re doing this – within the UK, we do this via balance sheet lending (OakNorth Bank) where we lend between £500,000 and £40 million, and throughout the rest of the world, we do it with by licensing ON AI to other banks and lenders so that they can replicate our success with SME lending in the UK, in their own markets. We are now working with partners across eight geographies who have combined balance sheets in excess of $800 billion.
Since its inception, the OakNorth group has secured over $1 billion from investors, including: Clermont Group, Coltrane, EDBI of Singapore, GIC, Indiabulls, NIBC, Toscafund, and SoftBank’s Vision Fund. In terms of what we do in Manchester, we have an operations and customer service team based there, as well as a handful of lending directors who help to originate and transact deals with businesses in and around the city.”
6. International – FinTech
Popular crypto exchange Kraken is crowdfunding, reports Crowdfundinisder
“Kraken has partnered with Bnk to the Future to “create a rare, but limited opportunity for both large and small investors to own shares of Kraken stock.” Kraken claimed over $85 billion in crypto trading during 2018.
Beginning yesterday (May 20), Kraken commenced the offering on Bnk to the Future for registered users of the platform. Preferred shares of Kraken stock can be purchased until June 20th, with a minimum investment of only $1,000.”