Here’s our pick of five of the top news stories from the world of finance and tech this week.
UBS, Wealthfront nix $1.4bn acquisition deal
Swiss banking giant UBS and wealth management platform Wealthfront have pulled out of a mooted acquisition deal.
UBS Americas was set to acquire the millennial and Gen Z-focused Wealthfront in an all-cash deal worth $1.4 billion.
The platform was to serve as the foundation of the bank’s digital-first wealth management offering and spearhead UBS’ expansion into the US as it looked to cater to “the next generation of investors”.
But both parties have now mutually agreed to nix the deal, which was announced in January and set to complete in H2 2022.
Despite the move, UBS says it remains committed to its US expansion plan and will continue to build its digital wealth management offering.
Wealthfront CEO David Fortunato says the pair are “continuing to explore ways to work together” and drew attention to the $69.7 million in financing UBS has poured into the company.
India’s RBI gives financial firms deadline to comply with new digital lending rules
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given regulated entities (REs) engaged in digital lending until 30 November to ensure existing digital loans comply with new lending guidelines.
The RBI says that the new rules are applicable to both “existing customers availing fresh loans” and to “new customers getting onboarded”.
Last month, it released recommendations from the Working Group on Digital Lending – Implementation, from which a set of guidelines have been put in place for all banks and non-banking financial companies in India.
Blockchain trade finance platform Contour snaps up we.trade assets
Blockchain-based trade finance platform Contour is set to acquire the rulebook and other legal documents from recently shuttered fintech we.trade.
Financial details of the deal remain undisclosed.
The move forms part of plans to launch a digital open account trade finance offering, folding we.trade’s bank payment undertaking (BPU) digital finance tool into the new platform.
Contour says the inclusion of we.trade’s rulebook, which covers the use of smart contract data sets that allow banks to enter into BPUs, means the firm will be able to “accelerate plans to bring to market an improved, Uniform Rules for Digital Trade Transactions (URDTT)-compliant digital open account proposition”.
Apple Pay edges out Mastercard with more than $6tn in ATV
Apple Pay – the tech giant’s mobile payment service – has surpassed Mastercard in terms of annual transactions, processing more than $6 trillion worth of transaction volume.
TradingPlatforms reports that only Visa now stands in the way of Apple Pay reaching the top spot globally.
Earlier this year, Apple launched its new ‘Tap to Pay’ feature, which leverages near-field contact (NFC) technology to allow merchants to accept Apple Pay, contactless card payments and digital wallet payments on an iPhone with no additional hardware needed.
Chilean fintech Xepelin lands $140m credit line from Goldman Sachs
Chilean financial services platform Xepelin has received a $140 million credit line from US multinational Goldman Sachs, the fintech’s largest credit facility so far.
The credit line, denominated in Mexican pesos, is designed to help finance further expansion into Mexico, Bloomberg reports, and will be released in two parts – $40 million then $100 million.
Xepelin was founded in 2019. In May, the firm raised $111 million in a Series B financing round led by Avenir and Kaszek, the largest such round in the history of Chile, Xepelin says.
Talking to Bloomberg, Xepelin co-founder and co-CEO Nicolas de Camino says the asset-backed loan from Goldman Sachs is “just the beginning of what we hope will be a long-term relationship”.
“We hope we can increase it in the future, and a few times.”