Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.

Sezzle share price: what drove the 18% sell-off today

We examine the catalyst behind Sezzle’s significant share price decline today, January 2.

Sezzle (ASX: SZL) investors are likely not happy with how the New Year has played out thus far.

Investors dumped the stock this morning as news began to circulate that California’s Department of Business (DBO) had rejected the company’s application for a lending license.

This announcement was officially released on December 30, Californian time. Sezzle released an offical company statment regarding the DBO's decision at 9:55 AEDT, this morning.

By 14:46 AEDT the Sezzle share price had fallen as much as 18%.

Other buy now pay later companies – such as Afterpay (ASX: APT), which also have operations in the US – were not impacted by this news. In fact, APT saw its share price rally as much as 4.37% during today's session.

Speaking of their decision to not grant Sezzle a lending license, the DBO commented that:

‘Sezzle is one of a number of companies now offering unregulated, point-of-sale financing to Californians.’

The regulator did not name the other companies offering these services.

The DBO ultimately contended, after a review of Sezzle's 'product and information [...] provided in connection with its application, [that] Sezzle was making unregulated loans to California consumers.'

Looking at the nature these point-of-sales financing arrangements, the DBO further noted that:

‘The consumer, merchant, and third-party financer treat the transactions like loans, despite contradictory language in the applicable contracts.’

Sezzle share price: the response at a glance

Sezzle was quick to issue a response to the DBO’s official statement this morning, noting that:

'We plan to continue to work with the DBO to correct any issues so that we can proceed with our plans to develop a loan product there.’

At the end of the day, Sezzle requires the DBO’s go-ahead to make loans in the state of California.

Looking at Sezzle’s ambitions and a positive case study example, it was further pointed out that:

'Sezzle's objective is to obtain the loan license for the purposes of removing those merchants from the financing process. The DBO approved a competition operating under similar a sales finance company model between the dates of our application and their public statement, so we believe there is a path to resolution.'

Even with today's rejection at the hands of the DBO, the company reassured investors that Sezzle:

'Continues to operate in the state of California in partnership with the Company's retailers who originate retail instalment sales contracts and then subsequently assigns those contracts to Sezzle in order for Sezzle to service the payment processing.'

The Sezzle (ASX: SZL) share price currently trades at $1.70 per share – down significantly from the stock’s $2.860 high achieved in 2019.

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

Act on share opportunities today

Go long or short on thousands of international stocks with spread bets and CFDs.

  • Get full exposure for a comparatively small deposit
  • Trade on spreads from just 0.1%
  • Get greater order book visibility with direct market access

See opportunity on a stock?

Try a risk-free trade in your demo account, and see whether you’re on to something.

  • Log in to your demo
  • Take your position
  • See whether your hunch pays off

See opportunity on a stock?

Don’t miss your chance – upgrade to a live account to take advantage.

  • Trade a huge range of popular stocks
  • Analyse and deal seamlessly on fast, intuitive charts
  • See and react to breaking news in-platform

See opportunity on a stock?

Don’t miss your chance. Log in to take advantage while conditions prevail.

Live prices on most popular markets

  • Forex
  • Shares
  • Indices

Prices above are subject to our website terms and agreements. Prices are indicative only. All shares prices are delayed by at least 15 mins.

Plan your trading week

Get the week’s market-moving news sent directly to your inbox every Sunday. The Week Ahead gives you a full calendar of upcoming economic events, as well as commentary from our expert analysts on the key markets to watch.

For more info on how we might use your data, see our privacy notice and access policy and privacy webpage.

You might be interested in…

Find out what charges your trades could incur with our transparent fee structure.

Discover why so many clients choose us, and what makes us a world-leading provider of spread betting and CFDs.

Stay on top of upcoming market-moving events with our customisable economic calendar.