News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

the silicon chip inside her head

1.UK – FinTech

After regulatory problems with an early promotion campaign, app-based payment platform Zeux is back. AltFi reports.

“Zeux first arrived on AltFi's radar earlier this year when the fintech's bizarre marketing campaign left it in hot water with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

In January 2020 the fintech was ordered to remove ads promoting a 5 per cent interest rate for its “savings account alternative” after This is Money reported that the fintech was taking money deposited into savings accounts and converting it to cryptocurrency through its Chinese partner WeCash.

WeCash would then convert the cryptocurrency back into normal currency and lend it out to borrowers—keep in mind that Zeux, while regulated by the FCA, is not protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) so customer’s money was (and still is) at risk.

Now things are settling down and the startup is focused on delivering for its thousands of customers, many of whom signed up on the back of its now-banned marketing campaign. 

Zhou told AltFi that signups were still "very healthy" despite its earlier marketing being shut down, and had been bolstered by a recent drive by the startup to introduce new features.”

2. UK – FinTech


 Starling Bank Is Planning To Offer Loans Under The Government's New Bounce Back Loans Scheme, But The £50,000 Loan Ceiling Means OakNorth And ThinCats Will Not Be Participating In The Lending Scheme, Despite Being Accredited. AltFi Carries The Story.

“The government on Monday announced that small and medium-sized businesses impacted by Covid-19 can potentially access loans worth up to £50,000 backed with a 100 per cent government guarantee.

Called the Bounce Bank Loans scheme, it was launched following complaints that companies were having difficulty getting credit under another government aid programme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), designed to help firms survive the Covid-19 shutdown.”

 

3. UK – AltFi

 

Bond Review has more on the collapse of Blackmore and alleged regulatory failures.

 

4. UK – Equity

Haio runs a feature on a leading member of Seedrs’ investment team.

 

5. International – FinTech

Sign-ups for digital banks are down across Europe. Sifted reports.

Europe’s top challenger banks saw a drop in digital downloads last month in a sign that the coronavirus lockdown may be negatively impacting business. 

Monzo, Revolut, Starling and N26 saw their growth rate drop by between 18% and 36% in their native markets*, according to an analysis by Priori Data commissioned by Sifted.

This comes despite speculation that they would draw in new audiences during the lockdown because these companies specialise in online banking.

It also comes as other finance apps have seen increased adoption, with analytics company App Annie showing a 10% increase in usage in the UK between March and the end of last year, along with a 30% increase in Germany.

Fluctuations are normal for digital banks, but March showed a marked drop in new downloads compared to February – as shown below – and from the same time in 2019 (when the growth rate was positive across the board).