5 trends we’re watching this week

5 trends in finance this week

[alert type=yellow ]Every week at Tradestreaming, we’re tracking and analyzing the top trends impacting the finance industry. The following is a list of important things going on we think are worth paying attention to. For more in depth trendfollowing, subscribe to Tradestreaming’s newsletters .[/alert]

1. European online lending matures: Funding Circle securitizes first portfolio (Tradestreaming)
Funding Circle will become Europe’s first online lender to have loans from its platform packaged and sold to institutional investors. For lending markets to mature, they seek the ability to securitize their offerings. That’s happening in the US (we covered the debt market for marketplace lending) and with Funding Circle’s first go at securitization, it’s now happening in Europe, as well.

2. Roboadvisors are automating all types of investments (Tradestreaming)
One area that’s seen a flurry of recent activity is the marketplace lending industry. Leading investment platforms have communicated that they’re serious about attracting more retail investors. Entrepreneurs see an opportunity and we’re now seeing roboadvisors for investors to manage their online lending across various platforms.

3. FICO-free zone? Traditional credit scores aren’t going anywhere (Tradestreaming)
Leading credit scoring analytics firm, FICO has just released a ratings estimator to give individuals the tools to run some scenario analysis on different events and activities that would impact their credit score. It is most definitely too early to predict the death of the FICO score. Also, if that’s surprising, what about these 5 surprising things you probably don’t know about FICO? For example, did you know FICO can predict marriage compatibility, as well as creditworthiness?

4. The future of online lending — one investor’s view (Frank Rotman)
The biggest and most influential conference on marketplace lending concluded last week. While many attendees have written up their takeaways on the event and the state of the industry, we found the words of QED Investors’ Frank Rotman to be the most interesting. His firm is a very active investors in the space: “I can truly say that one and only one thing stood out that I can’t shake. It’s simple yet profound. And in my truthful opinion this one thing is the key to simultaneously internalizing today’s problems while setting up the industry for its next wave of innovation…” It’s all about capital.

5. Does Wall Street see a future for the bank branch? (Tradestreaming)
During last week’s quarterly earnings calls, most of the bulge-bracket banks that reported told of pretty sizable branch closures they were planning. The trend to shutter physical branches is more pronounced in Europe. What will banking in 5 or 10 years look like if there are no local branches (according to a recent Citibank report that predicts a 50% reduction in bank branches within just a few years)?