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February 10, 2022

On the wires

January 19, 2022

On the wires

January 14, 2022

On the web

‘CashPlease’: Small Bank Debuts Alternative to Payday Loans

American Banker

“OneUnited’s loan, called CashPlease, is designed to help customers of the $635 million-asset Black-owned bank manage their cash flow without the hurdles and higher costs some other lenders might impose. Instead of conducting credit checks, it looks at applicants’ checking-account activity and other aspects of their relationship with the bank. Funds arrive within four hours of the loan’s approval. OneUnited’s rollout of CashPlease comes after the introduction of similar small-dollar loans by several large banks.”

December 8, 2021

On the wires

Kabbage® From American Express Launches Kabbage Funding™ to Help Simplify Funding for U.S. Small Businesses

Kabbage from American Express today launched Kabbage Funding , offering eligible small businesses flexible lines of credit between $1,000 and $150,000—now with the powerful backing of American Express. With Kabbage Funding, small businesses can apply in minutes to access working capital 24/7 to help manage their company’s cash flow…Kabbage Funding is a business line of credit offered by American Express that approves customers by analyzing their business data in real-time, and adds to its new suite of products, including Kabbage Checking™ launched in June 2021. Building on its efforts, American Express has also begun offering Kabbage Payments™ to eligible existing customers, which will be more broadly available in 2022, and makes it simple for small businesses to accept card payments and get paid quickly.”

 Payoneer to Offer Working Capital to Walmart’s Marketplace Sellers

Payoneer (NASDAQ: PAYO), the commerce technology company powering payments and growth for the new global economy, announced a new working capital offer for Walmart U.S. Marketplace sellers. Payoneer will now offer expanded Payoneer Capital Advance to Walmart Marketplace third-party sellers on Walmart.com. The program helps support Walmart’s sellers’ growth by offering a choice of three types of working capital offerings that suit different business needs. These instant cash flow solutions help empower sellers to grow by expanding into different product categories, preparing for peak seasons, growing into new markets and more.”

October 15, 2021

On the wires

Financial Institutions Can Grow Small Business Relationships With Fintech-Powered Lending Offering From Fiserv

Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions, is enabling financial institutions to build their small and midsize business (SMB) programs through the launch of a cloud-based, digital lending and credit platform. The latest Fiserv offering, leveraging the Atlas Platform from fintech StreetShares, allows financial institutions to manage the full lending lifecycle from digital document capture, underwriting, offer management and closing – delivering against the expectations of both staff and customers.”

August 30, 2021

On the web

US Banks Ease Loan Standards in Battle to Lend

California News Times

“Bank lending standards eased at a record pace in the second quarter as loose monetary policy and continued economic recovery fueled lending competition. According to UBS analysts, net 25% of banks relaxed lending standards for both consumer and small business loans in the second quarter, based in part on data from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. It shows a record pace of credit easing, based on data dating back to the turn of the millennium.”

August 26, 2021

On the wires

Brex Launches Brex Venture Debt to Help Existing Customers Scale

“U.S. fintech company Brex , the all-in-one finance solution for growing businesses, today launched Brex Venture Debt, a new product that gives select customers access to debt financing. Brex already offers credit cards, cash management accounts, spend management, and bill pay software together in a single dashboard for its customer base of high-growth businesses. With the addition of Brex Venture Debt, the company is further building on its promise of offering financial solutions for customers at every stage of growth.”

August 19, 2021

On the web

Wells Fargo Abandons Plan to Shut Down Personal Credit Lines


“Weeks after Wells Fargo & Co. set off a public outcry over its plan to discontinue personal lines of credit, the bank is reversing course. In recent days, the San Francisco-based lender began informing customers who have been using their personal credit lines that the financing channels will remain available. People who haven’t used their accounts since October also will be given the option of keeping them open, according to notifications seen by Bloomberg.”

August 10, 2021

On the wires

HSBC Is the First Bank to Join Walmart’s Initiative to Improve Access to Working Capital for Diverse and Minority Suppliers in the US

“HSBC Bank USA has become Walmart’s first banking collaborator supporting its initiative to make access to working capital affordable, transparent and more equitable. The financing program, working with C2FO , provides certified diverse and minority suppliers1 with convenient and consistent access to reliable funding sources. The funding could in turn be applied to initiatives that spur growth and improve resiliency such as hiring more employees, investing in innovation, and creating a cash cushion for leaner times.”

August 3, 2021

On the web

U.S. Demand for Household Debt Climbed in Q2, New York Fed Report Shows


“U.S. consumers’ demand for new debt grew in the second quarter and credit card use rebounded, reversing the trend of declining card use seen earlier in the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released on Tuesday by the New York Federal Reserve. Total household debt increased by $313 billion in the second quarter to $14.96 trillion, the New York Fed said in its quarterly report on household debt and credit. Mortgage debt continued to be the biggest driver of that growth, rising by $282 billion to $10.44 trillion by the end of June.”

July 14, 2021

On the web

Flat Credit Card Growth at JPMorgan Chase Bodes Ill for Other Issuers

American Banker

“Amid the bright spots in JPMorgan Chase’s second-quarter earnings report — including higher consumer spending and record revenue in asset and wealth management — there lingers a pesky headwind that could persist for several months. Payment rates on credit cards, which have been higher than normal during the pandemic, could stay elevated through the end of the year, executives at the $3.7 trillion-asset bank warned Tuesday. If cash-flush consumers keep paying off their balances at unusually fast rates, loan growth will remain muted, even though card spending has been rising.”

July 9, 2021

On the web

Wells Fargo Tells Customers It’s Shuttering All Personal Lines of Credit


Wells Fargo is ending a popular consumer lending product, angering some of its customers, CNBC has learned. The bank is shutting down all existing personal lines of credit in coming weeks and has stopped offering the product, according to customer letters reviewed by CNBC.   The revolving credit lines, which typically let users borrow $3,000 to $100,000, were pitched as a way to consolidate higher-interest credit card debt, pay for home renovations or avoid overdraft fees on linked checking accounts.”

June 22, 2021

On the web

Regional Banks, Credit Unions Begin Lending to Pot Firms

American Banker

“Loans to marijuana companies, long taboo even at banks and credit unions that take deposits from cannabis firms, are finally gaining a degree of mainstream acceptance. A handful of insured depository institutions, including two banks with more than $40 billion in assets, have started offering credit in states where the drug is legal, according to interviews with lenders and industry consultants as well as publicly available information. The newfound openness to lending comes as the U.S. cannabis industry continues to mature and builds a heftier financial track record. Some banks and credit unions have been accepting deposits from pot companies in recent years, in accordance with stringent federal guidelines, which has given them an unusually deep understanding of those businesses’ cash flows.”

May 21, 2021

On the wires

Bespoke Financial, the Nation’s First Commercial Cannabis Lender, Closes $8 Million Series A

Bespoke Financial , the first Fintech lender in the country providing debt financing to cannabis companies, announced today the close of a $8 million Series A, bringing the company’s total funding to date to over $28 million. The raise was co-led by Snoop Dogg’s Casa Verde Capital and Sweat Equity Ventures and includes participation from Ceres Group Holdings, Greenhouse Capital Partners, DoubleLine Capital’s Co-Founder & Former President Philip Barach, and New York venture capitalist Robert Stavis.”

C2FO and Marcus by Goldman Sachs Announce Partnership to Provide Financing to Small Businesses

“C2FO, the largest global platform for working capital, today announced a new partnership with Marcus by Goldman Sachs that will provide unsecured financing to eligible businesses that use C2FO in the United States. This partnership aims to give small and medium-sized businesses a new, fast and efficient way to access working capital. Access to working capital is crucial to the growth of small- and mid-sized businesses, and key to ensuring supply chain continuity in multiple industries. The Marcus-C2FO partnership aims to reduce the barriers to capital, which many businesses have experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

May 14, 2021

On the web

Need a Credit Card or Auto Loan? Banks Are Making Them Easier to Get

Wall Street Journal

“Credit cards, auto loans and other personal loans are all getting easier to come by, more than a year into a pandemic that spooked lenders and caused them to tighten lending standards significantly. The net share of banks that loosened underwriting standards for credit cards hit a high in roughly the first quarter, according to a survey of loan officers conducted by the Federal Reserve. The net share of banks relaxing underwriting on other consumer loans such as installment loans also notched a record. For auto loans, that share was the highest level in more than eight years.”

May 13, 2021

On the web

WSJ News Exclusive | JPMorgan, Others Plan to Issue Credit Cards to People With No Credit Scores

Wall Street Journal

“Some of the largest U.S. banks plan to start sharing data on customers’ deposit accounts as part of a government-backed initiative to extend credit to people who have traditionally lacked opportunities to borrow. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., U.S. Bancorp and others will factor in information from applicants’ checking or savings accounts at other financial institutions to increase their chances of being approved for credit cards, according to people familiar with the matter. The pilot program is expected to launch this year. It is aimed at individuals who don’t have credit scores but who are financially responsible. The banks would consider applicants’ account balances over time and their overdraft histories, the people said.”

May 12, 2021

On the web

U.S. Senate Votes to Repeal ‘True Lender’ Banking Rule Issued Under Trump


“The U.S. Senate voted on Tuesday to repeal a regulation introduced during former President Donald Trump’s administration that Democrats say allows predatory lenders to skirt state consumer protections. Lawmakers voted 52-47 to repeal the “true lender” rule, marking the first time Democrats have rolled back a Trump-era financial rule using the Congressional Review Act, a 1996 law that gives Congress the ability to rescind recently enacted regulations. The White House said in a statement it supported the resolution repealing the rule, which now heads to the Democratic-led House, where it is also expected to pass. The targeted rule, written last year by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, attempted to clarify whether state or federal laws applied when lenders like fintechs partnered with traditional banks.”

May 10, 2021

On the web

U.S. Justice Department Probing Kabbage, Fintechs Over PPP Loan Calculations


“The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether financial technology companies including Atlanta-based Kabbage Inc may have erred while distributing billions of dollars in pandemic aid to struggling small businesses, three people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The investigation, led by the Justice Department’s civil division, is examining whether Kabbage and other fintech companies miscalculated how much aid borrowers were entitled to from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) due to confusion over how to account for payroll taxes, the three people said.”

May 5, 2021

On the web

Banks Resume Risk-taking in Consumer Lending

American Banker

“After a year of pandemic-induced caution in consumer lending, bankers are starting to reacquaint themselves with risk. Lending standards have not yet recovered from the massive tightening in 2020, and banks remain somewhat hesitant about lending to consumers with lower credit scores. But a recent Federal Reserve survey suggests some normalization in underwriting as vaccinations and fiscal stimulus help fuel an economic rebound. Many U.S. consumers have emerged from the pandemic’s darkest days in better financial shape than they were before.”

April 7, 2021

On the web

Avant Doubles Down on Digital Banking With Zero Financial Acquisition


Avant , an online lender that has raised over $600 million in equity, announced today that it has acquired Zero Financial and its neobank brand, Level, to further its mission of becoming a digital bank for the masses. Founded in 2012, Chicago-based Avant started out primarily as an online lender targeting “underserved consumers,” but is evolving into digital banking with this acquisition.”

April 2, 2021

On the web

March 24, 2021

On the web

Apple Card, Underwriter Goldman Sachs Committed No Fair Lending Violations


“New York’s Department of Financial Services on Tuesday said it concluded its investigation of Apple’s AAPL.O credit card and its underwriter Goldman Sachs Group Inc and found no evidence of unlawful discrimination against applicants under the state’s fair lending law. New York launched the investigation in late 2019 after a tech entrepreneur alleged on social media that the Apple card’s algorithms committed gender bias because he was given a credit limit that was 20 times what his wife received. The investigation included a review of thousands of pages of records submitted by Goldman and Apple, interviews with Apple card applicants and data for roughly 400,0000 Apple card applicants from New York state.”

March 23, 2021

On the web

Credit Cards Slash $99 Billion From Spending Limits During Pandemic


“The notices went out to one cardholder after another, sparking complaints . Big banks were trimming credit limits by hundreds or thousands of dollars as the Covid-19 pandemic spread. None were saying how far it would go. The answer: The 14 lenders that dominate U.S. credit cards slashed $99 billion from their customers’ spending limits in 2020, mostly affecting financially troubled households. It’s the equivalent of cutting $2,000 in financing to 50 million people — many of whom lean on cards for emergencies.”

U.S. Banks’ Loans Drop to Another Record Low as Deposits Surge


“U.S. bank lending fell to a new low this month, Federal Reserve data show, as a cash-rich banking system continues its cautious approach to making new loans, Federal Reserve data show. Total loans and leases dropped to 62.8% of bank deposits in the week ended March 10. Lenders use deposits to fund new credit for their customers. Total assets at U.S. banks climbed 0.7% to $21 trillion, according to the Fed.”

March 9, 2021

On the web

WSJ News Exclusive | SoFi Is Buying a Community Lender to Speed Up Banking Expansion

Wall Street Journal

“Fintech startup Social Finance Inc. agreed to buy a tiny California community lender to accelerate its push into the banking business. The San Francisco-based company will spend about $22 million to acquire Golden Pacific Bancorp Inc., which has three branches in and around Sacramento and about $150 million in assets. SoFi plans to contribute an additional $750 million to capitalize the bank for a national, digital expansion should regulators approve the transaction.”

On the wires

SoFi Launches Innovative Credit Card to Promote Saving, Investing, and Paying Down Debt

“SoFi, the digital personal finance company, announced today the broad launch of its first-ever credit card, designed to incentivize healthy financial habits and further its mission to help people get their money right. The SoFi Credit Card’s innovative rewards structure helps consumers reach their financial goals, such as saving and investing, and directly addresses the cycle of debt that prevents financially healthy behaviors, with up to 2% unlimited cash back when applied to a SoFi Money® or SoFi Active Invest account or used to pay down a SoFi personal loan or student loan refinance.”

March 1, 2021

On the web

Kenya Is Preparing to Crack Down on a Flood of High-interest Loan Apps

Quartz Africa

“A new Kenyan bill seeks to license and regulate digital lending platforms in the country, in a bid to clamp down on the issuance of high-interest loans as well as the predatory practices that have accompanied the industry’s massive growth. Mobile lending apps have become an easy source of credit for Kenyans who don’t have accounts with banks and other traditional financial institutions, or the regular income needed to borrow from such establishments.”

February 25, 2021

On the web

Capital One Starting to Raise Credit Limits in Hunt for Growth

Crain's New York Business

Capital One Financial Corp. has begun to lift borrowing limits for certain customers as it seeks to restart growth in its sprawling credit-card business. Increases are being offered to existing customers with both prime and subprime credit scores, Chief Executive Officer Richard Fairbank said at a virtual investor conference Wednesday. The company continues to hand out smaller credit lines to new customers .”

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