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Lending Briefing: Upgrade CEO Renaud Laplanche on fintech lending in a tight market

  • Today, there's less demand for consumer loans, and lenders are tightening their credit books. The 'cautious approach' narrative prevails in many interviews and conference calls.
  • I sat down with Renaud Laplanche, CEO at Upgrade, one of the main direct-to-consumer fintech lenders in the US. We discussed the macro environment, and how he designed Upgrade's business model in a way that is proving resilient during these turbulent times.
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Lending Briefing: Upgrade CEO Renaud Laplanche on fintech lending in a tight market

With a recession looming, consumer spending and overall financial health is under pressure, creating a tricky environment for B2C fintech lenders.

Moreover, in this highly inflationary environment paired with rising interest rates, it’s tougher to find investors to back loan books. The appetite is now for higher yields and profitability – a complete 180-degree switch from last year’s focus on growth at all costs.

With a recession looming, consumer spending and overall financial health is under pressure, creating a tricky environment for B2C fintech lenders.

Moreover, in this highly inflationary environment paired with rising interest rates, it’s tougher to find investors to back loan books. The appetite is now for higher yields and profitability – a complete 180-degree switch from last year’s focus on growth at all costs.

Most fintech lenders finance themselves with securitization, hedge funds, or banks, and reports started to surface on various fintech lenders finding it hard to sell their loans.

Today, there’s less demand for consumer loans, and lenders are tightening their credit books. The ‘cautious approach’ narrative prevails in many interviews and conference calls.

But not every fintech lender is the same. There are many business models currently on the market – some more successful than others – and on most of them, the jury’s still out. Most haven’t been tested yet by a down market, which is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome for any lender.


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