News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Young woman whispers in friend's ear

1.UK – FinTech


Altfi reports: 

“B2B payments provider, Crezco, has hired Ivelina Delcheva – the former interim CFO of digital savings fintech Chip – to take on a dual role as the first CFO and COO of the company. 

Delcheva’s credentials include steering Chip through to completion on a £11.5m equity crowdfund in October last year, as well as careers at both BNP Paribas and German car financer, Auto1 FinTech.   

In her new role, Delcheva will be responsible for driving Crezco’s growth agenda, developing its finance and operations functions, and establishing the company’s KPIs and processes. 

Launched in 2020, Crezco uses open banking methods to provide payments services for businesses, without the associated costs. The fintech is now integrated with over 300 banks and 400m bank accounts across the EU and UK, which it claims is more than any other open banking payment API provider.” 


2. UK – FinTech 


The Fintech Times reports: 

Hackers are not the only ones committing financial crimes in the modern-day. In 2021, UK banks and individuals were fined a total of £568million by the FCA for carrying out regulated activities without authorisation, insider dealing, and non-financial misconduct.  

This data was contained in a new press release published to the FCA’s website, and analysed by a Parliament Street think tank. Experts concluded that the high quantity of financial penalties is in response to the new forms of financial crime buoyed by the covid-19 pandemic. 

Dr. Henry Balani, leading regulation expert for Encompass Corporation, commented, “The pandemic has provided criminals with the opportunity to defraud, launder and perpetrate other forms of financial crime with more efficiency than ever before. 

“Lockdown, and the resulting dependence on digital services, has made it easier for criminals to impersonate legitimate services and scam consumers. On the other hand, it has caused difficulties for the financial institutions themselves to detect malicious activity, as digital identities are harder to verify than the physical or in-person alternatives that existed before the pandemic.” 

Interestingly, however, the FCA demonstrated success when it came to protecting consumers. Its contact centre prevented £4million being lost to scams, and the FCA secured £5million to be paid back to people who invested in companies that were not authorised to undertake financial activity in 2021. Also, a record 1,300 warnings about scams were issued over the past year.” 



3. International – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 


“JPMorgan Chase will spend more than $12 billion on technology in 2022, contributing to an eight per cent rise in expenses that could hurt the bank's profitability targets. 

Reporting fourth quarter results, JPMorgan set out technology spending plans that will see it use "microservices architecture, cloud and modern engineering practices to accelerate software development". The bank is also betting big on AI and machine learning to get more value out of its data and stressing its commitment to cybersecurity.

In addition, it plans to continue making acquisitions, following up on recent deals to buy OpenInvest, Nutmeg and a 75% stake in VW Payments.” 



4. International - FinTech 


Altfi reports: 

“More new business for Thought Machine, after it achieved ‘Unicorn’ status at the end of 2021. 

This time it comes from the Nordic banking app Lunar, which is switching to the cloud-native core banking firm for its banking engine Vault. 

Specifically, Lunar says the switch will enable it to migrate all its existing accounts and functionality while opening a path to building entirely new products. 

“To continue scaling our service across the region, investing in the latest and best technology is a top priority for Lunar. We searched for a core banking engine that would enable us to deliver on our product roadmap – not dictate it,” said Lunar’s CEO and founder Ken Villum Klausen. 

“By removing the constraints and unlocking opportunities, Vault will enable us to build targeted products and streamline workflows as we scale.” 

Lunar raised €210m last year to expand from its base in Denmark and continue growing, partly through acquisitions, with it snapping up rivals Lendify and Paylike.” 


5. International – FinTech 

Crowdfundinsider runs an “explainer” on the mysteries of Decentralised Finance, aka DeFi.