News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

In horse racing, winner takes all: in crowdfunding, spread your investments

1.UK – FinTech

Bond Review  looks at Grounds Investments.

We review Grounds Investments’ “cash investments” paying up to 7% per year

Grounds Investments is offering unregulated loan notes and IFISAs paying 3% per year for a 2-year investment or 7% per year for a 5-year investment. The company aims to raise money for investment …

 

2. UK – P2P

 

P2P Finance News on events at the troubled Lendy.

 

“LENDY has insisted its first ever chief operating officer Robert Kelly is still with the business but his role remains unclear.

Kelly (pictured) joined the peer-to-peer property lending platform as its first-ever chief operating officer in May 2018, but he has left out his time at Lendy on his profile on business networking site LinkedIn.

To add further mystery, an update from the platform last week named David Gammon – who has since left the firm – as its most recent chief operating officer.

Lendy said in a statement to Peer2Peer Finance News that Kelly was still with the business but did not provide further details.

An investor update last week from Lendy revealed that three members of a board established to focus on recoveries have now departed.

These included Gammon, chief financial officer Paul Thompson and general counsel Gary Anderson.

The board had been established in December 2018 to “deliver the recovery programme” amid investor concerns about the level of arrears and defaults on the platform.”

3. P2P – UK

 

Yet more interesting times at Funding Circle, according to P2P Finance News.

 

“UNDING Circle’s dedicated investment trust is set to close as the peer-to-peer business lender unveils two new institutional funds to back loans on the platform.

The Funding Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF) said in an announcement this morning (5 April) that shareholders had backed plans to cease investment in new assets and that the process of returning capital to investors would begin.

FCIF, which launched in 2015, said it will convene an extraordinary general meeting where shareholders can consider an orderly winding down of the company.

It comes as the investment trust has been hit by hedging costs and the impact of new IFRS accountancy reporting requirements.

The fund is believed to have gradually represented less investment on the Funding Circle platform in recent years as it has attracted other institutional backers.”

4. UK – FinTech

US legal commentary platform, JDSupra, looks at the FCA’s recent paper on cyber security.

“The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) set out various cybersecurity insights gleaned from the work of cyber coordination groups (“CCGs”) the regulator established in 2017.  The publication of these insights—along with previous communications from the FCA and Bank of England—show that the cybersecurity practices of financial services firms operating in the UK are under the regulatory microscope as the cyber threat continues to grow. Indeed, in a November 2018 speech by Megan Butler (the FCA’s Executive Director of Supervision), she said: “On the basis of the data that the FCA is currently collecting, we see no immediate end in sight to the escalation of tech and cyber incidents that are affecting UK financial services.”

This client alert summarizes the insights from the recent FCA paper alongside longer-term themes. It also provides our suggestions for how financial services firms should proactively equip themselves to respond to increased regulatory scrutiny—including for a full-blown enforcement investigation—of their systems and controls in this area.” 

5. US – P2P/FinTech

 

Crowdfund Insider reports a P2P link with Mastercard.

 

SoLo Funds, a peer-to-peer lending platform that provides instant affordable access to loans,  announced on Thursday its new Mastercard integration, which enables users to link their debit bank accounts to the lender’s platform enabling faster, more seamless lending transactions under $1,000.

SoLo Funds reported that the integration with Mastercard opens the platform up to any user with a debit card and enables SoLo to surpass its previous 100,000 Visa users. The peer-to-peer lending platform also claimed that it is considerably faster in comparison to traditional ACH bank transfers, which can take up to three full business days to settle. Users are now able to request and receive a loan within minutes.  While sharing more details about the integration, Travis Holoway, CEO and Co-Founder of SoLo Funds, stated:

“By integrating with Mastercard, SoLo empowers even more users to deliver small-dollar peer-to-peer loans to those who need them most,” said “This integration brings us a step closer to our goal of transforming the lending sector by providing timely access to small loans through everyday mobile users.”

6. US – FinTech

The Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports:

Crowdfunding Site Republic Creating Token to Give to Users

Republic, a startup that runs an equity-crowdfunding platform, believes cryptocurrencies can make it easier for mainstream investors to get involved in various businesses as shareholders.  Republic is also acquiring another investing platform, RenGen Labs”