The latest news from the world of Alternative Finance and FinTech
In the news this week
The UK government injected £71m into London tech this week as part of a £780m funding initiative aimed at expanding its so-called ‘catapult centres of innovation’. Chancellor Phillip Hammond said: “We are backing innovative British companies to grow and create jobs, as we build an economy fit for the future." In banking news, taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland has been named Britain’s worst bank by consumers and businesses after it came bottom of league tables published by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). At the other end of the table, online and telephone banking-based bank First Direct took the top spot.
UK government plows £71m into London tech as part of £780m package
London's tech researchers and entrepreneurs have scored the first boost from an extra £780m in government funding, destined for innovation centres up and down the country. Chancellor Philip Hammond will announce the government's aim of expanding its so-called catapult centres of innovation.... (Parliament News)
RBS named worst bank in the UK along with Clydesdale
Taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has a new accolade – one it is not likely to celebrate – after being named Britain’s worst bank by consumers and business. It came bottom of league tables published by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) following a survey of personal and business banking customers. (The National)
Assetz Capital has seen over £50m invested into its Innovative Finance Isa (IFIsa) since it was launched in December last year. The P2P business lender’s IFIsa now accounts for over 15% of all loans funded through the platform. Investors have switched to the Assetz Capital Isa from cash and stocks and shares Isas, with the platform reporting over £20m of completed or in-progress transfers. (Bridging & Commercial)
Commercial property peer-to-peer lending platform Proplend has introduced an auto investing feature. The auto-lend facility will let investors target a return of five per cent, with funds allocated to Proplend’s least risky tranche A investments. (P2P Finance News)
Higher rates will help us, says Funding Circle after divi cut
Peer-to-peer lending lending investment trust Funding Circle (FCIF) is expecting rising interest rates to help boost its yield after hedging costs forced a dividend cut. After launching in 2015, the peer-to-peer fund had offered a 6.5p annual payout but in June it was forced to cut its target dividend range to between 5p and 6p for the next 12 months. (Investment Trust Insider)
ClauseMatch becomes Investment Association's first fintech member
Regtech firm ClauseMatch has become the first company to join the UK's Investment Association's new fintech membership category. The IA set up its new membership category to boost engagement between the asset management industry and the host of fintech players entering the field, bringing new technologies with them. (Finextra)
Pensioners marching on the Square Mile – no thank you
News of China ordering a lockdown of Beijing’s financial district on Monday (6 Aug) to prevent organised demonstrations by investors that lost money with bankrupt P2P lenders is the stuff of nightmares for the FCA. The breakdown of more than 150 platforms in China since the beginning of the year is being blamed on regulatory failures, fraud, lending to weak borrowers and an overall decline in economic conditions.
Despite being discussed numerous times there still seems to be confusion over social media’s connection with search rankings and SEO. In 2010 Matt Cutts, the former head of Google’s webspam team said that Google did use links from Facebook and Twitter as ranking signals. But, just four years later he changed his mind, claiming these social media pages were treated like any other web page for search, but not as a ranking factor. It's been a while since then, and there's no...