News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Construction workers eat lunch 200 feet up in the air.

1.UK – P2P

Peer2Peer Finance News sees property-backed IFISAs as the coming force in P2P, with Money&Co. in the vanguard of the trend.

 

“A SLEW of new property-backed Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) launches has underlined the growing popularity of peer-to-peer property lending.

These include Property Partner’s property development IFISAPropio’s development and refurbishment IFISA, and Loanpad’s property-backed ‘hybrid’ IFISA.

In March, Money&Co helped one of its borrowers – Grounds Investment – to bring to market a property-backed IFISA which provides loans for residential developments in major German cities.

Meanwhile, the recently-launched Westway IFISA aims to solve the problem of the under-served supported housing sector by offering an alternative source of funding for developers, while targeting 8.5 per cent in annual returns for investors.

The growth of the P2P property market has coincided with a slowing in the traditional lending market, as well as an ongoing shortage of housing across the UK. This has encouraged borrowers to seek out alternatives to the banks, while investors are attracted to the asset-backed returns which can be made within the tax-free IFISA wrapper.”

2. UK - P2P

The Evening Standard reports more on LCF:

"The controversial agent which earned nearly £60 million selling investments in bust London Capital & Finance is charging another high-risk bond company the same 20%-25% fee to raise money from the public.

Surge Financial and its online affiliate RP Digital has been criticised for the huge sums of money it made marketing LCF bonds to the public. 

Now, while LCF and another big-spending bond company, Blackmore Bonds, no longer use their services, Surge and RP are marketing another set of unregulated bonds promising high interest rates from a business called The Capital Bridge, again charging an overall 20%-25%."

3. UK – FinTech

 

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has announced  the launch of its Visa debit card in the UK, reports Crowdfund insider.

 

“According to Coinbase, the debit card allows customers to spend crypto as effortlessly as the money in their bank. The card’s description reads:

“Coinbase Card is powered by customers’ Coinbase account crypto balances, giving them the ability to pay in-store and online using bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, and more. Customers can use their card in millions of locations around the world, making payments through contactless, Chip and PIN, as well as cash withdrawals from ATMs. When customers use their Coinbase Card, we instantly convert crypto to fiat currency, such as GBP, which is used to complete the purchase.”

Coinbase noted in order to help customers manage their spend, it has also launched the Coinbase Card app, which enables customers to select which of their crypto wallets they will use to fund their Coinbase Card spending.

“Coinbase Card supports all crypto assets available to buy and sell on the Coinbase platform, meaning they can pay for a meal with bitcoin, or use ethereum to fund their train ticket home. The app also offers instant receipts, transaction summaries, spending categories, and more.”

Coinbase also reported to celebrate the launch of Coinbase Card, it is waiving the £4.95 card issuance fee for the first 1,000 people to join the waitlist. Coinbase customers can download the iOS and Android app today and securely link their Coinbase account. Coinbase Card is currently only available in the UK, but Coinbase added that it plans to support other European countries in the coming months.”

  

4. International – FinTech

 

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF), the leading research group on all things Fintech, has launched a new Fintech collaboration network in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC), reports Crowdfundinsider.

 

“According to a release by the UK government, the network was the genesis of a meeting in Santiago, Chile in March. This network is the third one launched by the Centre outside the UK after China and Sub-Saharan Africa. This initiative has been supported by HMG as an observer country of this group.

The network is designed to enable research and policy support for regulators throughout Latin America, in particular in Pacific Alliance countries, which already have guidelines to harmonize Fintech policies.

The British Embassy organized a seminar on 25 March where UNECLAC’s Executive Secretary, Alicia Barcena, delivered some opening words about this landmark partnership. The Governor of the Central Bank of Chile, Mario Marcel, also participated in delivering remarks praising this initiative, and about what it means for developing fintech friendly policies, both in Chile and Latin America.”

Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance Launches New Fintech Collaboration Network with UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean | Crowdfund Insider

5. International – FinTech

Biznews sees a bright future for FinTech in South Africa.

 

“One of South Africa’s success stories of the future lies in Fintech. Cape Town and Johannesburg are major hubs of innovation, and the epicentre of Fintech in Africa, according to consultancy EY – which notes that South Africa harbours about a third of all Fintech firms in Africa, followed by Kenya and Nigeria.  Ghana, Uganda, Cameroon and Rwanda show great promise, too. EY says SA’s Fintech is particularly exciting because it is diversified, is the most developed, can piggyback off a mature financial sector and has a large network of angel investors. EY is optimistic that government is on the right track in nurturing Fintech. Also key is that South Africa like the rest of Africa, has a vast population of people with smartphones and also unbanked individuals, creating an environment that is ripe with opportunity. In this article, experts from Knowledge at Wharton, the University of Pennsylvania, highlight how Fintech is evolving quickly, with Blockchain likely to become a significant feature.”

6. International – FinTech

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced on Thursday it has formed a new partnership with blockchain security company CipherTrace to further enhance the exchange’s robust anti-money laundering (AML) compliance program. Binance reported that CipherTrace will raise its platform’s compliance standards in line with a worldwide progression of cryptocurrency regulations and developing framework.

 

Crowdfund Insider reports.