News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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The essentials are here and will be regularly updated. If you want to be well-informed about the investment crowdfunding scene, and you're short of time, this is the place to visit.

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1.UK – P2P

P2P Finance News reports:

“PEER-TO-PEER lenders have been turned away by banks when trying to open the client money accounts that are legally necessary for them  to operate.

Despite the vast majority of platforms now being fully regulated, Peer2Peer Finance News has seen messages from high street and challenger banks showing they are reluctant to accept clients in the P2P sector – particularly property lenders – because of concerns over anti-money laundering (AML) compliance.

Frazer Fearnhead, founder of P2P buy-to-let and development lender The House Crowd, said that he was refused by a number of banks when trying to open a client money account, while other firms have reported similar experiences in the past.

P2P lenders can use a bank or an e-money provider to manage their client money to comply with regulations regarding the segregation of investors’ funds.

Many P2P lenders opt for a client money account with a UK-based bank as they get the added benefit of protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme until the money is invested. Furthermore, e-money providers can be based anywhere in the world so could be operating under a different regulatory framework entirely.”

http://www.p2pfinancenews.co.uk/2018/07/05/banks-reject-p2p-money-laundering-concerns/

 

2. UK – P2P

 

A press release:

 

“LendingCrowd, the Edinburgh-based peer-to-peer (P2P) lender to SMEs across the UK, has reported a record first half in 2018 and has upped its proportion of loans to Scotland-based businesses, helped by its £2.75 million partnership deal with Scottish Enterprise’s investment arm.

Following a hat-trick of record months for lending in April, May and June, and one in four loan deals now being agreed with Scottish businesses, LendingCrowd delivered a record £13.9m of lending in the first half of 2018, compared with £4.9m for the same period last year. Activity during the second quarter also reached an all-time high for the P2P platform, with lending of £8.8m marking a 225% increase on the £2.7m delivered in Q2 2017.”

 

3. UK – SMEs

 

P2P Finance News on “a lack of cash flow management” amongst SMs.

“[This] is stopping small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from scaling up, American Express claims. A poll of SMEs by the credit card provider found 46 per cent of senior decision makers feel cash flow struggles are distracting them from growth-related activities like product development and marketing.

One in five said keeping on top of financial commitments is taking their focus off chasing down new business opportunities, according to the poll.

The research showed many small firms are relying on short-term fixes to maintain cashflow, with 26 per cent using an overdraft, and 12 per cent looking to business loans.”

 

 

4. International – FinTech

 

Crowdfundinsider reports:

 

“Microsoft Taiwan held a joint press conference with Digital China and HighCool companies at Le Meridien Hotel in Taipei June 28th to announce a “tripartite blockchain strategy cooperation” agreement has been struck between the three firms to create a vast, blockchain-moderated public-private computing cloud.

Also present at the conference were, “Taiwan’s blockchain venture pioneer Hu Day…” and Zhao Zhizhong, Head of Artificial Intelligence at Microsoft Greater China.

According to the corresponding press release, the three companies hope that by combining Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing and commercial blockchain services with Digital China’s commercial blockchain services and HighCool’s expertise in cloud management, the resulting collaborative “super cloud” will one day be able to host the Internet of Things (IoT).”

 

 

5. International – FinTech

 

The Russian military is building “a military technopolis” in the Black Sea town of Anapa where 200 scientists will focus on creating blockchain tech for national security, Russian publication Izsvestia reports.

“Protecting state secrets will be a priority at the new facility, which will welcome, “operators from the scientific company of the Krasnodar Higher Military School…(and) prepare specialists in the field of information security for all…types of troops.”

The reporting includes a quote from “antivirus expert” at Kaspersky Labs, Alexei Malanov, who said that an access log replicated across a distributed ledger will mean that hackers have a harder time scrubbing their traces from multiple records:

“Often when an unauthorized intrusion (is made) into the device, an attacker cleans the access log located on it, hiding the traces of the attack. Using a log distributed to several devices (for example, in the form of a blockchain), you can minimize this risk.”


 

6. International – FinTech

 

The Economic Times of India reports:

 

“Chinese financial technology giant WeCash is preparing to enter India with a consumer-lending product in partnership with banks and other financial institutions, adding to a crowding domestic market teeming with innovations. 

The company, estimated to be worth about $3 billion, plans to bring to India its artificial intelligence and machine-learning capabilities that allow it to evaluate the creditworthiness of individuals with a high degree of accuracy.”