Austrian central bank says must monitor property loans closely

Reuters | December 11, 2017

Systemic risks in the Austrian financial sector related to the property market remain low but supervisors must monitor the situation closely as by some measures mortgage lending is becoming riskier, the country’s central bank said on Monday. “Real estate-induced systemic risks remain subdued in Austria, but close supervisory monitoring is warranted in light of the fact that a rising share of new housing loans to households shows relatively high loan-to-value, debt service-to-income and debt-to-income ratios,” the Austrian National Bank said as it issued its half-yearly Financial Stability Report. Banks should use the window of opportunity afforded by the “currently benign market environment” to continue structural reforms aimed at improving their efficiency and profitability while avoiding taking excessive risk, particularly in mortgage lending, it added.

Spotlight

It's the end of an era for MetLife as the life insurance giant is in talks this week to sell its network of sales people to Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. Under new federal regulations, MetLife would be facing capital burdens with its force of around 4,000 sales people, so the company has decided to slim down, responding to a shifting regulatory environment.


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WEALTH MANAGEMENT

Bambu offers Wealth Management Predictive Planning Solution for Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales

Bambu | September 21, 2022

Bambu, a global wealth technology provider, today announced the launch of their Wealth Management Predictive Planning solution for Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales. The service will enable Relationship Managers (RMs), Financial Advisors, Agents and firms in the financial sector to identify and prioritize their clients' needs through predictive analytics, empowering them to make informed financial decisions for the future. To build and solidify trusted relationships between users and their clients while increasing sales productivity, Wealth Management for Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services - a one-of-a-kind Wealth Management predictive planning solution - along with its counterpart, Wealth Management for Dynamics 365 Sales, were designed with an innovative proactive approach in mind. The system will enable users to predict and analyze key life events along with the ability to suggest achievable financial goals and solutions for future financial planning. Powered by A.I. and through the adoption of the Hidden Markov Model (HMM) and Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) Machine Learning models, both solutions will be able to generate thousands of timelines of future events and outlines based on demographic profiles and the four major aspects of life - marriage, family, career, and financial situation. On the launch of Bambu's Microsoft AppSource offers, Aki Ranin, Co-founder and COO of Bambu, said, "It is vital for us to move the game from reactionary, aspirational planning to proactive, realistic, and predictive planning. We hope to revolutionize and be at the forefront of the playing field to make it much easier for financial planning to be a priority." "Bambu wants to be the leader in the B2B wealth tech space. This relationship means a lot to us, not only from a brand perspective but also from a product scale standpoint. The opportunity to co-sell with Microsoft will help us progress toward our goal to be a leader in the B2B wealth technology space.'' - Ajay Kamath, Commercial Director, at Bambu We welcome Bambu to Microsoft's Business Application ecosystem and its Wealth Management offering integrated with Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales, By making it easier for relationship managers, financial advisors and agents to access their data in one place, we are significantly reducing roadblocks that lead to friction and reduced ROI,says Toby Bowers, General Manager, Industry, Applications & Data Marketing at Microsoft. About Bambu Bambu is a leading global digital wealth technology provider for financial institutions. We enable companies to make saving and investing simple and intelligent for their clients. The cloud-based platform is powered by our proprietary algorithms and machine learning tools. Founded in 2016, Bambu is headquartered in Singapore with a subsidiary in the United Kingdom and the United States and EMEA representatives.

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CORE BANKING

Argyle Joins Financial Data Exchange to Establish Industry Standards for Payroll Data

Argyle, Financial Data Exchange | July 07, 2022

Argyle, the leading employment data platform providing companies access to user permissioned employment records, announced today it has joined the industry standards body Financial Data Exchange (FDX). Through its FDX membership, Argyle will help shape industry standards for how banks and data aggregators format, authenticate, and transmit consumer payroll data. The use of payroll data—which encompasses all personal employment and income information—is gaining significant traction as an indispensable alternative to outdated verification processes, such as evaluating credit scores to determine credit worthiness. Real-time payroll data offers a more transparent scope of one’s ability to pay in order for banking and lending institutions to grant consumers access to necessary financial resources. “As an FDX member, we have the unique opportunity to collaborate with other industry players to help define how payroll data is formatted, authenticated, and transmitted,” said Shmulik Fishman, CEO and founder of Argyle. “As an FDX member, we have the unique opportunity to collaborate with other industry players to help define how payroll data is formatted, authenticated, and transmitted,” said Shmulik Fishman, CEO and founder of Argyle. “Employee payroll data is an incredibly rich source of information that can help workers secure housing, vehicles, loans, and valuable financial services—it’s crucial we come together as an industry to standardize on how this data is managed.” The FDX is dedicated to connecting the ecosystems that make up the financial services industry to create a common, interoperable, and royalty-free standard for secure, user-permissioned financial data sharing. FDX memberships are open to organizations within the financial sector interested in contributing to the development, growth, and industry acceptance of the FDX API and other objectives through collaboration with FDX working groups and task forces. As a member, Argyle has the unique opportunity to work with other FDX participants to create the first standardized method of payroll data authentication and transmission. “FDX and Argyle share an equally vested interest in standardizing the methodology of how critical data is transmitted in order to receive necessary financial services,” said Don Cardinal, managing director at FDX. “Our members help promote greater adoption of Open Finance and banking standards and drive significant industry growth through their contributions and collaboration with one another. We’re thrilled to have Argyle join us as a valued member of the FDX.” In 2021, Argyle announced the creation of the Open Employment Data Standards (OEDS), an organization established to standardize how employment records are stored, accessed, and transferred. These records serve as a core foundation in American society and are used in renting an apartment, buying a car, purchasing a home, applying for a new job, receiving a loan, and more. OEDS aims to foster transparency and alignment of a data-set that institutions across the industry can rely on. Joining FDX in conjunction with OEDS furthers Argyle's stance as a thought leader in payroll data and Open Finance. To learn more about Argyle, visit argyle.com. About Argyle Argyle is building the leading user-consent-based platform for employment data, helping people avoid situations where their personal information is sold or used without their consent or knowledge. With Argyle, any business can process income and work verifications, gain real-time transparency into earnings, as well as view and update worker profile details. By removing the barriers between a worker, the companies they make money from, and the business they buy services and products from, Argyle has reimagined how employment data can be leveraged to benefit both institutions and individuals. About Financial Data Exchange Financial Data Exchange, LLC is a non-profit organization operating in the US and Canada that is dedicated to unifying the financial industry around a common, interoperable, royalty-free standard for secure and convenient consumer and business access to their financial data. FDX empowers users through its commitment to the development, growth, and industry-wide adoption of the FDX API, according to the principles of control, access, transparency, traceability, and security. Membership is open to financial institutions, fintech companies, financial data aggregators, consumer advocacy groups, payment networks and other industry stakeholders. FDX is an independent subsidiary of FS-ISAC. For more information and to join, visit www.financialdataexchange.org.

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FUNDING

USQ Expands Investment Platform with PREDEX Acquisition

USQ, Chatham Financial | August 02, 2022

Union Square Capital Partners, LLC, announced today it acquired the management of PREDEX, a real estate-focused interval fund. PREDEX (Ticker: PRDEX) has $163 million in AUM as of July 27, 2022, bringing total assets of USQ interval funds to approximately $400 million. “True diversification matters, and most investors have been reminded of that over the first half of this year,” said Thomas Miller, Chief Executive Officer of Union Square Capital Partners. Since both funds were launched, they have consistently demonstrated that non-correlation to the broader markets while still delivering strong risk-adjusted returns is possible, both having a three-year correlation of just -0.02 to the S&P 500 Index as of June 30, 2022. During the same period, the USQ Core Real Estate Fund (Ticker: USQIX) delivered an annualized return of 10.46%, while PRDEX delivered an annualized return of 12.09%. USQ’s first fund, USQIX, has a primary investment objective to generate a return comprised of both current income and long-term capital appreciation with moderate volatility and low correlation to the broader markets. USQ implements this strategy by investing in the core private equity real estate funds that comprise the NCREIF Fund Index — Open-end Diversified Core Equity (“NFI-ODCE”). PREDEX likewise serves as a gateway to private core real estate but implements a slightly different approach that allows for a portion of assets to be held in funds outside of the NFI-ODCE Index. “We are excited to join the USQ team and feel they are a perfect partner to support growing the PREDEX fund,” said J. Grayson Sanders, founder of PREDEX. “We are excited to join the USQ team and feel they are a perfect partner to support growing the PREDEX fund,” said J. Grayson Sanders, founder of PREDEX. The expansion of the USQ strategies is aligned with long-term plans for the firm. “This acquisition highlights our commitment to growing our asset management business through both organic growth and strategic acquisitions,” said Matt Henry, Managing Partner and Founder of USQ and Chief Executive Officer of Chatham Financial. The performance quoted represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. The investment return and principal value of the Fund will fluctuate; an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Performance data current to the most recent month end may be obtained by calling 1-833-877-3863 for USQIX or 1-877-940-7202 for PRDEX. Fund returns reflect actual fee waivers and reimbursement of expenses for the time periods represented. Had fees and expenses not been waived and reimbursed, returns would have been lower. See each fund’s prospectus for more information on current fees and expenses. About USQ USQ, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chatham Financial Corp., is an investment management firm providing access to inventive strategies for real asset investing. The USQ platform leverages in-depth knowledge of real estate financing complexities to offer modern investing approaches spanning the needs from registered investment advisors to institutional investors. Union Square Capital Partners, LLC brings low-cost, institutional private real estate to wealth managers. About Chatham Financial Chatham Financial is the largest independent financial risk management advisory and technology firm. A leader in debt and derivative solutions, Chatham provides clients with access to in-depth knowledge, innovative tools, and an incomparable team of over 600 employees to help mitigate risks associated with interest rate, foreign currency, and commodity exposures. Founded in 1991, Chatham serves more than 3,000 companies across a wide range of industries — handling over $750 billion in transaction volume annually and helping businesses maximize their value in the capital markets, every day. To learn more, visit chathamfinancial.com.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Inswitch partners with Binance Pay to boost crypto payment adoption in LATAM

Inswitch and Binance Pay | September 07, 2022

Inswitch, a leader in embedded financial technology and payment infrastructure, and Binance Pay, a contactless, borderless and secure cryptocurrency payment technology designed by Binance, the world's leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider, announced they have signed a strategic partnership, which will enable both sides to improve their fintech solutions and offer Binance Pay to all merchants in LATAM. The partnership between Binance Pay and Inswitch will provide millions of LATAM merchants with intriguing options in crypto space, allowing them to increase revenue by accepting crypto, and enable all companies with a new way to service payments. Some of the features involved in this partnership will allow merchants to: Receive payments in 50+ cryptocurrencies with lightning fast payments. Support new products or business models and accept recurring payments globally Quickly set up Binance Pay and manage recurring customers with Inswitch's APIs and solutions (e.g. Payment Links, Hosted Checkout, etc) "We are very excited and committed to democratize the payment industry, connecting more than 650 million in Latam with e-commerces around the world. Now merchants will have more options on how to get paid and let their customers choose how to pay wherever they are." - Ronald Alvarenga, CEO of Inswitch Furthermore, with Inswitch, merchants can configure everything through Inswitch Business Portal or create new digital journeys through flexible APIs and a suite of low-code fintech products. And merchants are able to flexibly accept different payment methods to best fit their needs. This agreement will support different types of businesses: Business-to-Consumer, Business-to-Business, Consumer-to-Business. Binance Pay and Inswitch are positioned to deliver a robust turnkey solution across a variety of sectors, including eCommerce, Retailers, Travel, CPGs, Banks, and Gig economy among others. We are thrilled to bring crypto payments to more than 650 million LATAM users by partnering with Inswitch, this keeps reinforcing Binance Pay's objective of providing contactless, borderless, and secure cryptocurrency payment experiences to companies and consumers, stated Jonathan Lim, Global Head of Binance Pay. About Inswitch Inswitch is a global leader in embedded financial technology, helping companies and organizations to rapidly implement their own digital financial services. With the Inswitch API-based Fintech-as-a-Service platform, any company can become a Fintech and choose the best solution for its specific needs. All with a fast go-to-market strategy, zero friction and using the Inswitch global network for cash, banking, credit/debit cards, issuing and payment operations. About Binance Pay Binance Pay is a contactless, borderless, and secure user-to-user cryptocurrency payment feature on the Binance App. Binance Pay allows users and merchants to send and receive crypto payments around the world without incurring special handling fees for using crypto.

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Spotlight

It's the end of an era for MetLife as the life insurance giant is in talks this week to sell its network of sales people to Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. Under new federal regulations, MetLife would be facing capital burdens with its force of around 4,000 sales people, so the company has decided to slim down, responding to a shifting regulatory environment.

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