PYMNTS.com provides insight from MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes on the Ant Financial merger; the merger represents a strategic deal that Holmes says will significantly benefit the industry and the shareholders of both companies; both companies are leading payment providers with MoneyGram offering global payment processing capabilities and Ant Financial seeking to expand on its market position in payments through Alipay in China; "We are going to see, when this deal goes through, those capabilities getting built out between our two organizations in a much more robust and dynamic way," said Alex Holmes. Source
President Trump is set to sign two executive actions on Friday that take aim at reversing the new financial regulations that were put in place as a result of the 2008 financial crisis; the executive actions will give the labor secretary power to rescind the fiduciary rule and ask the Treasury secretary and regulators to come up with a plan to replace Dodd-Frank; the fiduciary rule was set to go into effect in April and was meant to ensure advisors had their client's best interests at heart; Dodd-Frank was passed in 2010 and began implementation in 2012; the law was meant to limit the chance of another financial crisis like we saw in 2008; uncertainty exists with what will end up happening, but signals show that the fiduciary rule will be struck down and Dodd-Frank will be replaced. Source
Goldman Sachs head of commodities research, Jeff Currie, told Bloomberg TV that bitcoin is a commodity though with less liquidity than gold; he explains, “"It's a commodity. A security, by definition, has a liability attached to it. Take a dollar bill, it has a liability to the US government. Commodities do not have liabilities.”; similar to gold it is not backed by a government or a company but is significantly more volatile. Source.
UK based challenger bank Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group announced they would increase minimum salaries by 11 percent in an effort to boost pay to their female workforce; the bank released news that men were paid 37 percent more than women, mostly due to men being in higher paying roles; the bank signed up for the government’s Women in Finance Charter to help increase their proportion of women in senior roles to 40 percent by 2020 and 50 percent in the long term. Source.
Generally banks have the customers but are working with an old tech infrastructure; conversely, fintechs have the new tech, but lack the customers; Tearsheet shares data on how much it costs for large banks and fintech companies to acquire customers and why partnerships often make sense; one personal finance app and lender that is reporting low cost of customer acquisition is MoneyLion; the cost to acquire a customer for them is $5 or less. Source
Consumer lender Avant filed documents with the SEC for a new unsecured consumer loan portfolio, Avant Loans Funding Trust 2017-A; the ABS deal looks to consist of 41,250 unsecured consumer loans, though the total portfolio pricing has yet to be released; the deal was audited by Deloitte; banks involved in the transaction include J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Credit Suisse Securities LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC. Source
Jianpu listed on the NYSE on November 16th under code JT; it is the fourth fintech company to IPO in the US in the second half of 2017; others included Quidian, Hexindai and PPDAI; Jianpu is a subsidiary of Rong360 and has an active user base of 95.8 million; the platform has provided 170,000 financial products in more than 350 cities. Source
VeChain, Viseo and Microsoft have launched a blockchain proof of concept project for the French car maker Renault; the idea is that blockchain can be used to keep record of how a car is maintained and that information from various car service providers can build a trustworthy growth history of a car; auto giants like Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Porsche have tried blockchain projects before as well. Source (Chinese)