News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

many hands in a circle

1.UK – FinTech

A new meaning for “dead cat bounce”? AltFi reports:
Starling Bank has found itself facing an uphill struggle with its Bounce Back Loans (BBL).Anne Boden’s bank first began facing backlash after it stopped accepting new sole trader business accounts because of  “record demand” on 14 May 2020.In a thread on Twitter, Starling announced that it would reopen the sole trader account process on 1 June 2020 so that it could “focus on better serving our existing sole traders."
”Since then, Starling has been met by a host of complaints from customers claiming to have been rejected for a BBL with the bank—although many have pointed out that this is because the customers likely failed the necessary fraud checks needed to receive a BBL.” 

2. UK – FinTech

The FinTech Times runs a feature interview with the CEO of Aventus.Aventus.

Aventus “is a B2B insurtech platform enabling insurers and brokers to distribute products via APIs into any environment and meet customers at the right moment”.

 

3. UK – FinTech

P2P in the time of Covid. Crowdfundinsider reports:

“JustUs recently confirmed that it will begin lending to borrowers who are considered key or essential services workers.

The peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform noted that it will selectively accept loan applications from individuals and companies that may be offering essential services during these challenging times.

JustUs listed a £15,000 guarantor loan to a National Health Service (NHS) worker (in the UK) on its platform on May 15, 2020. The loan will reportedly be used to consolidate expensive credit.”

 

4. UK – AltFi

 

Love Money reports: 

"Just one in five loveMONEY savers is able to keep pace with inflation – and it's not hard to see why when you look at the best buy tables.

A lot of the attention at the moment is going towards those individuals and families who are worried about making ends meet, and rightly so. 

Even with the extension of the furlough scheme until October, and the (eventual) launch of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme, there are nonetheless millions of people across the country in a difficult situation, with yet more uncertainty ahead. 

But there are also millions of households who have squirrelled money away over the years to build some savings, who don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the ‘returns’ currently on offer.

Unbeatable inflation

Since the start of the year, loveMONEY has polled you, the readers, a handful of times on whether your savings are currently beating inflation.

Really, this should be the minimum expectation for any engaged saver. If you aren’t beating inflation, then the value of the money that you have saved is essentially being eroded over time.

And yet less than one in five readers believes their savings are beating inflation.

Given the Consumer Prices Index measurement of inflation right now is sat at just 1.5%, you wouldn’t think it would be out of the question for most savers to find somewhere to keep their money that pays an inflation-beating rate."

5. International – FinTech

The Australian Financial review, via AltFi, reports:

Steve Weston, the CEO of Australian challenger bank Volt, has announced the scrapping of a planned A$50m fundraise from international investors and a delay to the bank’s expected 2020 public listing.

The news, first reported by The Australian Financial Review, comes as Australian digital banking players have struggled to maintain their high interest rates which have lured in billions of dollars worth of consumer deposits.

As Australia’s central bank has slashed the country's base rate, so too have these challengers been forced to abandon their lucrative growth strategies.

"It was going along nicely, but then the coronavirus hit and it was difficult for people to complete due diligence and travel, so we postponed it. We'll still keep in touch with the offshore investors we were speaking to in the past, but it's difficult conditions for them,” Weston told The Australian Financial Review.

Now the bank will instead launch a A$15m rights issue to its existing investors, while also launching home loans before the end of the year.”