TORONTO, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Bank of Montreal (BMO) (BMO.TO) is winding down its indirect retail auto finance business and shifting focus to other areas in a move that will result in an unspecified number of job losses, Canada’s third-largest bank said.
The bank, which announced the move on Saturday, has conducted this business in Canada and the United States. The move comes after BMO’s overall bad debt provisions rose to C$492 million, compared with C$136 million a year earlier, for the quarter ended July 31 in a sign of growing stress consumers face from a rapid rise in borrowing costs.
Under the indirect retail auto finance business, the bank works with car dealerships to arrange financing for buyers, who make monthly payments to the lender.
“By winding down the indirect retail auto finance business, we have the ability to focus our resources on areas where we believe our competitive positioning is strongest,” BMO said in a statement to Reuters.
The bank is working closely with employees who will be affected by job cuts to provide support, it said.
In a letter sent to car dealers and seen by Reuters, the head of the business Paul Hunsley said the termination of the dealer agreement would be effective as of Sept. 15, but the bank would fund all contracts submitted and approved prior to the date.
At the end of July, BMO’s consumer installment and other personal loan portfolio stood at C$104 billion, and included C$54.7 billion in home equity loans.
The remaining loans in this portfolio are primarily auto loans, but also include other loans, including loans for boats, recreational vehicles and motorcycles, Edward Jones
A Platform to Connect Journalists and Conference Planners with People of Color, Women, and Non-binary Experts Across Business, Finance, and Tech
Choir also unveils Choir Practice™, a speaker and media training platform for Voices™ experts; Welcomes Wealthspire Advisors and others as the first Voices Enterprise partners to provide Choir Practice™ to their employees and affiliates.
Voices Search™ Profile
San Francisco, July 11, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Choir, a tech platform created to increase the diversity of experts featured across media and conferences, today launches Voices Search™ out of beta to include underrepresented experts from the business, finance, and technology industries.
Designed as a simple and intuitive search tool for journalists, conference planners, and corporate marketers, Voices Search™ enables users to search and filter through hundreds of detailed professional profiles that exclusively showcase people of color, women, and/or non-binary professionals with wide-ranging expertise.
Voices Search™ users can discover new-to-them contacts (called “Voices”) with relevant experience and knowledge of specific subject matter. Users search by topic, and as needed, can also filter by race, ethnicity, gender, and other personal identifiers such as members of the LGBTQIA+ community, veterans, or first-generation U.S. citizens. Then, the user submits a request form which is instantly delivered to the Voice’s email inbox, making it quick and easy to get in touch. (Click Here to watch Voices Search™ in action.)
“There has never been an expert sourcing platform at this scale that prioritizes race, gender, and other diversity metrics like Voices Search™ does,” said co-founder of Choir, Liv Gagnon. “Readers, subscribers, and conference attendees are demanding news articles and conference lineups that reflect the world we live in, and brilliant experts with diverse perspectives are out there – their stories are waiting to be told. Now with
Grow Finance partners with Pismo to issue new Mastercard® credit card for small businesses in Australia
Grow, the fastest-growing company in Australia in 2020-21 according to The Australian Financial Review’s Fast 100 list, becomes Pismo’s first Aussie client
BRISTOL, England and SYDNEY, July 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — According to the Australian Banking Association, of the 2.6 million businesses in Australia, the majority (98%) are small and medium enterprises (SMEs)*. As the sector accelerates in 2023, it also suffers from an increase in the cost of goods and services, leading to rising inflation and unemployment rates. In this scenario, entrepreneurs are eager for help.
Australian company Grow is ready to help them. Grow is a leading lending partner for SME businesses looking to expand, manage cash flow and deal in today’s increasingly complex and competitive operating environment. It will launch its first credit card, powered by Pismo.
The Grow Mastercard® credit card will be available in market from September. This new offer will give business owners better cash flow, management and capital to help them improve their businesses.
Grow has chosen Pismo’s all-in-one, public cloud-native financial services platform to support its card-issuing operation. By using a modern and feature-rich platform, it seeks to differentiate itself from other lenders and continue supporting the Australian SME segment, an estimated $410-billion market.
“Pismo brings us its extensive expertise in card issuing and payment processing, which includes managing 42 million cards. The Pismo platform enables us to develop our credit card business without building the infrastructure from scratch. While Pismo focuses on the technology, we focus on supporting Aussie SMEs to grow their businesses,” says David Verschoor, Executive Director and Co-CEO at Grow.
Founded in 2016 in Brazil, Pismo has operations in five continents with 450 employees. It processes 290 million transactions monthly. Pismo provides card issuing infrastructure for Banco Itaú – Latin America’s largest
An influential committee of MPs has launched an inquiry into the challenges faced by small businesses when seeking finance as companies come under mounting pressure from soaring borrowing costs.
The cross-party Treasury committee will examine how easy it is for small firms to access finance, the role of financial innovation and the regulation of small business lending.
It comes as the Bank of England drives up interest rates to the highest level since the 2008 financial crisis, adding to the pressure on businesses seeking to borrow money.
Harriett Baldwin, the Conservative chair of the committee, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of local communities, powering economic growth and fostering innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit. As a committee, we’ll be examining whether small businesses are able to access the finance they need to grow and develop, whether there is adequate regulation of the sector, and if government can take a more active role to support business growth.”
MPs will investigate the role of the Bank’s term funding scheme, which incentivised high street banks to lend to small businesses. Launched after the 2016 Brexit vote and extended during the Covid pandemic, it has since closed to new borrowing.
The committee will also examine credit reference agencies and the support from the government available for firms.
Also being considered are the role the government can play in improving access to small business finance, the impact of Covid schemes on businesses, and how useful the British Business Bank is.
The investigation comes amid concern over access to finance for businesses from across the political divide. Labour has pledged a shake-up of financial support, while Jeremy Hunt earlier this year announced the government’s “Edinburgh reforms” to relax City regulations to encourage more lending in the UK economy.
Novuna Business Finance achieves rapid growth fuelled by new business surge and sustainable investment boost
Strong new business volumes and a one-off gain from the revaluation of the Group’s investment in green energy provider GRIDSERVE resulted in record pre-tax profits for Novuna Business Finance.
The company, which specialises in providing asset finance solutions for SMEs and larger corporations across the UK, achieved pre-tax profits of £66.2m in FY22/23, up 165% from the previous year.
Leveraging its well-established routes to market, including broker, direct and manufacturer and dealer relationships, Novuna Business Finance achieved a 22% increase in new business, totalling £999.3m and benefitted from a one-off gain of £44.1m following the revaluation of a strategic investment in GRIDSERVE’S electric vehicle charging infrastructure to deliver a record performance.
Novuna Business Finance, which provides hire purchase, finance lease solutions, stocking finance and block discounting solutions for businesses, achieved an 8% increase in net earning assets, totalling £1.7billion this year which propelled its standing to become the third largest asset finance provider in the UK.
Despite the challenges posed by rising funding costs and an unfavourable economic climate, the company remained committed to its growth objectives by investing in diversified funding provisions, which accounted for 20% of new business volume.
Novuna Business Finance’s expanding Project Finance proposition, forged partnerships with SMEs, Community Energy Groups, and Fund Managers to drive revenue growth for the Group leveraging wider market opportunities in the sustainability sector.
The business continued to enhance its support for customers, making significant investments in cutting edge technology, accelerating digital onboarding and enabling instant funding decisions. The introduction of a revolutionary workflow automation tool for manufacturers and dealers resulted in over £4m in additional revenue.
Geoff Maleham, Managing Director at Novuna Business Finance, said: “Against a backdrop of rising cost of funds and a challenging economic climate, our business has achieved remarkable success, driven by unprecedented levels of new
Fintech trailblazer continues reimagining the building blocks of small-business finance, letting AI tackle the tedium
SAN FRANCISCO, June 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Digits, the award-winning producer of small-business finance workflow software, today announces a breakthrough in the application of generative AI models to business finance, and the launch of Digits AI: the world’s first secure, accurate, business-specific finance AI.
Digits AI empowers business owners, accountants, and finance teams with real-time financial planning and analysis, insights, and powerful visualizations – all accessed through a simple conversational interface. The advanced technology saves hours that would be spent configuring and running reports, exporting data to CSV or Excel, and managing complicated models. For the first time, answers to key questions like “What is my burn rate?”, “Who were my top five customers last month?” and “How much has my business spent on marketing so far this year?” are at a small business owner’s fingertips – with accompanying visuals to drop into presentations or investor updates.
“ChatGPT has captured the world’s attention, but its shortcomings significantly limit its usefulness in business finance,” said CEO Jeff Seibert, “Financials are among the most sensitive data a business has, and financial analysis is highly math-intensive—every answer must be correct. For AI to play a useful role, it must be custom-trained to answer financial questions, it must be rock-solid at math, and it must have secure, encrypted, siloed access to a business’s complete financial history. We are the first in the world to achieve all three. Digits AI is the future of business finance.”
Deep Financial Expertise
With over five years of experience building finance software, Digits has trained its next-generation AI on over $300 Billion in small-business transaction volume booked in full double-entry cash- and accrual-basis accounting. This gives Digits AI an unprecedented understanding of
Capital Small Finance Bank Limited is looking at its total business rising over Rs 14,000 crore by the end of current financial year on the back of growth in its advances led by MSME loans and mortgages. The Jalandhar-headquartered bank has also plans to expand its branch network by opening 20 more branches in the northern region. Capital Small Finance Bank started operations as the country’s first small finance bank in April, 2016 after conversion from Capital Local Area Bank.
Prior to conversion to the Small Finance Bank, Capital Local Area Bank had been operating since January 14, 2000. In the last financial year, the bank’s total business grew to Rs 12,000 crore with 12 per cent growth. “We are looking to grow our business to more than Rs 14,000 crore (by end of 2023-24),” Capital Small Finance Bank Limited chief financial officer Munish Jain said on Tuesday.
The bank’s total advances stood at Rs 5,507 crore with 17 per cent growth while its deposits stood at Rs 6,560.62 crore with a high share of CASA (current account savings account) book at 41.88 per cent of the total deposits. Jain said the bank’s advances are expected to grow by 22-24 per cent while profitability to rise by 25-30 per cent.
“Growth will be coming from MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) and mortgages including housing loans,” he said, adding that the bank is also extensively doing agricultural loans. The bank’s asset products primarily include agriculture loans, MSME and trading loans (working capital, machinery loans etc.) and mortgages (housing loans).
The bank also plans to increase its footprint in the northern region where it is mainly concentrated. “We will continue to expand our branch network. A minimum of 20 branches will add more in this fiscal,” said Jain.
The bank presently
LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) – Digital finance firms in Britain will find it tougher to raise funds due to higher interest rates and investor caution after the collapse of U.S.-based technology lender Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), executives told an industry event on Monday.
The Bank of England has raised interest rates 11 times since December 2021 in a bid to curb soaring inflation, which has squeezed living standards. However, the hikes have also led to higher funding costs for companies.
“The bar on capital has been raised, from an era where there was (effectively) 0% interest rates and relatively easy access to cash and capital,” said TS Anil, CEO of British digital bank Monzo, speaking at the Innovate Finance conference in London.
Anil said last month’s banking sector turmoil, sparked by the failure of SVB which spooked investors, could contribute to a broad shake-up in the digital finance sector.
Britain’s digital banks will need support over the next few months to help them cope with the market fallout from SVB’s demise, trade body Innovate Finance warned last month.
Tim Levene, CEO of fintech-focused investment company Augmentum, told the event there was likely more pain to come and start-ups would take further hits to their valuations.
“We’re going to see stories over the next 12 months of businesses that have failed, but that’s part of venture (capital),” he added.
The Bank of England is considering an overhaul of its deposit guarantee scheme, which could include boosting the amount covered for businesses if lenders hit trouble, The Financial Times reported on Sunday.
“The Bank of England looking at the regulations… is the sensible course to do,” Sam Everington, senior executive at British digital bank Starling, told the event in London.
Digital finance company bosses said they were confident the sector could weather