News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Young woman whispers in friend's ear

1.UK – FinTech

More fallout from the LC&F mini-bond scandal. In the Daily Mail:

And in the Sunday Times:

London Capital middleman Paul Careless chased over warranty ‘scam’ | Business | The Sunday Times

 

Elsewhere, Zopa - better late than never - distances itself from mini-bonds in general, as reported in P2P Finance News:

Zopa distances P2P from mini-bonds | Peer2Peer Finance News

 

2. UK – P2P/IFISA

 

AltFi News reports:

“P2P lending platform RateSetter ISA has passed £200m of subscriptions to its Innovative Finance ISA in its first 12 months since launching an Innovative Finance ISA.

The firm says that one in three of its investors have now opened an ISA, so far seeing an average annualised return of 4.5 per cent with the average RateSetter ISA balance at £11k, or £9k short of the full allowance…

The P2P lender now has £860m in funds under management and says that emore than 600,000 customers have used RateSetter to invest or borrow, making it the UK’s most popular peer-to-peer lender. RateSetter has originated more than £3bn of loans in total, generating £125m in returns for investors to date.”

 

3. UK – AltFi

 

Computer Weekly reports on an initiative aimed at women:

“NatWest has launched a crowdfunding programme aimed specifically at supporting businesses led by women.

The programme, dubbed Back Her Business, will allow women to prepare their ideas for new businesses and get them ready for crowdfunding.

Jill Arnold, NatWest’s sustainable banking lead for enterprise, said the “wraparound support” provided by the programme was the area that had received the most positive feedback.”


 

4. International – P2P

Crowdfund insider reports on a Nordic success:

“Finland based peer to peer lender Fellow Finance announced last week that it facilitated €18.2 million of loans in March 2019 and its total number of investors grew to more than 12,000. As previously reported, Fellow Finance was founded in 2014 and its main business activity is crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending services. The company states that by volume it is the leading loan-based crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending service in the Nordics.

“Fellow Finance offers the most advanced crowdfunding platform for people and businesses. The borrower can apply a loan fitting their needs and the investor can receive reasonable interest returns for the money lent. Fellow Finance offers a secure and safe online marketplace for lending and borrowing. Fellow Finance Plc is regulated by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Finland as an Authorised Payment Institution. Fellow Finance Plc is listed on Nasdaq First North Finland.”

Fellow Finance also claims it is the leading¹ Nordic loan-based crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending platform which has over 560,000 users from around 60 countries. The platform is regulated by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Finland as an Authorized Payment Institution. Fellow Finance is listed on Nasdaq First North Finland and has around 2800 shareholders.”

 

5. International – FinTech

 

AltFi News reports on a UK-Asian move:

 

Tandem is looking to cash in on its recent flurry of activity in Europe and Hong Kong with the launch of a funding round, said to be larger than the £80m it raised in 2018.

The fundraise, first reported by the Financial Times, comes after the bank reached 600,000 customers in the UK and announced plans to launch in Asia.

Tandem spokesperson confirmed to AltFi that the funding round had launched and that the bank was looking for “a good amount” of capital “from the right investor”.

CEO Ricky Knox has previously called 2019 a “pivotal” year for the business, which would see it launch new accounts and enter new markets in Europe and Asia.

In recent weeks Tandem has launched auto-savings accounts and partnered with Token to embed more Open Banking services in its app.

In November the bank raised £15m from Hong Kong-based financial services group Convoy, with a plan to launch the digital bank in China.”