Zopa

Zopa is a UK based peer-to-peer lending company founded in 2004[5] which has a banking licence.[6] It launched in the UK in March 2005.[7] Zopa was the first peer-to-peer lending company.[8]

Zopa Limited
Ltd.
IndustryPeer-to-peer lending
FoundedMarch 2005 (2005-03)[1][2]
FoundersGiles Andrews
James Alexander
Richard Duvall
David Nicholson
Tim Parlett
HeadquartersCottons Centre, ,
Key people
Jaidev Janardana(CEO)[3]
ProductsP2P lending[4]
Websitewww.zopa.com

History

Zopa was launched in the UK in March 2005.[9] It was founded in Buckinghamshire in 2004 by a team from the internet banking company Egg Banking.[10][11]

Zopa grew steadily[12] in the years prior to the financial crisis of 2007–2008. It navigated the period with no losses to investors' capital and only a small dip in returns during 2008.[13]

In September 2016, the first portfolio of Zopa loans was securitised on the European markets.[14]

In November 2016, Zopa announced that it would apply for a banking license [15] in order to offer customers a broader set of personal finance products.[16]

In January 2017, Zopa became the first UK based peer-to-peer lending company to lend more than £2 billion worth of loans.[17] Zopa became fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in May 2017.[18][19] Following FCA authorisation, and HMRC approval as an Individual Savings Account (ISA) manager, Zopa started offering its Innovative Finance ISA products in June 2017.[20]

Products and services

Business Model

Peer-to-peer lending

Zopa enables investors to lend to UK consumers directly through its peer-to-peer lending platform.[21]

Borrowers can take out loans between £1,000 and £25,000.[22] Typically individuals use these to funds to help buy a car, consolidate debts, cover home improvements or weddings.[2]

Investors can choose from four investment products[23] based on their risk and return appetite. Investors’ money is split across multiple borrowers.[24] Investors then receive monthly repayments of interest and capital, which they can relend to compound the interest.

Bank launch

In November 2016, Zopa announced its intention to apply for a banking license so it could expand the range of financial products it offers to UK consumers.[25]

Zopa's bank is scheduled to launch in 2019 and will sit alongside its peer-to-peer lending business. Zopa plans to offer FSCS protected deposit accounts, credit cards,[26] and a money management app which makes use of data made available by the introduction of Open Banking.[27] In August 2018, Zopa obtained £44 million in funding for the launch of its new digital challenger bank.[28]

In December 2018 the company was awarded with interim banking licences from UK financial regulators, the FCA and PRA.[6]

In November 2019, it was reported that the company was at risk of losing these permissions and being forced to abandon its banking licence application, due to a lack of capital in the region of £100-150 million.[29]

Corporate identity

Headquarters

The company's main office is currently based at London Bridge[30]

Zopa also has a Development Centre in Barcelona, Spain. The centre has been running since 2017.[31]

Brand

Zopa etymology

Its name stands for "Zone of possible agreement", a negotiating term identifying the bounds within which agreement can be reached between two parties.

See also

References

  1. Akst, Daniel (5 February 2006). "Where Lender Meets Borrower, Directly" (Business Day). New York, N.Y., United States: New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  2. Werdigier, Julia (10 December 2012). "RIT Capital to Take Stake in British Financial Start-Up" (DealBook). New York, N.Y., United States: New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  3. "Zopa CEO Jaidev Janardana: Leading UK P2P Lending with Superior Service, Transparency and Cutting-Edge Fintech", McGill University
  4. Scott, Mark (9 June 2014). "A Lift for One of London's Financial Tech Start-Ups" (DealBook). New York, N.Y., United States: New York Times. The New York Times Company. p. B3. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  5. Cave, Andrew (5 March 2016). "Zopa aims for enough growth to stop explaining its name". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  6. "Zopa, the UK P2P lending company, secures bank license". TechCrunch. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  7. Jones, Rupert (15 February 2014). "The major peer-to-peer lenders". the Guardian. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  8. "Q&A: Online lending exchange". United Kingdom: BBC. BBC. 7 March 2005. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  9. Prosser, David. "Happy Birthday Zopa, The Inventor Of P2P". Forbes. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  10. Evans, Judith (14 August 2015). "My Money — Giles Andrews, Zopa chief". Financial Times. Nikkei. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  11. "Zopa opera". computing.co.uk. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  12. "P2P lending: where will the P2P industry go next? - Verdict". www.verdict.co.uk. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  13. Ficenec, John (26 July 2015). "How safe is peer-to-peer lending?". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  14. Hale, Thomas (26 September 2016). "Debut securitisation for Zopa loans". United Kingdom: Financial Times. Nikkei. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  15. Hurley, James (17 November 2016). "Peer-to-peer lender Zopa to launch bank" (Business). United Kingdom: The Times. Times Newspapers Limited. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  16. Dunkley, Emma. "Peer-to-peer lending pioneer seeks banking licence". Financial Times.
  17. "Peer-to-peer lender Zopa passes £2 billion loans milestone". Business Insider. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  18. Williams, Aime. "Zopa gets FCA approval as peer-to-peer lender". Financial Times. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  19. Barber, Lynsey (11 May 2017). "Zopa just got full approval as a P2P lender from the FCA". Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  20. Suter, Laura (26 May 2017). "Zopa Isa offering up to 6.1pc finally available". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  21. Lewis, Martin. "Peer to peer lending: boost savings returns? - MSE". MoneySavingExpert.com. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  22. "comparethemarket.com - Zopa loans". www.comparethemarket.com. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  23. Beioley, Kate. "P2P platform Zopa re-opens to new customers". Financial Times.
  24. "Peer-to-peer lending explained - Which?". Which?. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  25. Editor, James Hurley, Enterprise (17 November 2016). "Peer-to-peer lender Zopa to launch bank". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  26. "Zopa is 'pretty close to finishing' building its new bank". Business Insider. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  27. "Zopa boss Janardana details plans for customer-centric bank - AltFi Opinion". AltFi. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  28. "Digital Bank: Zopa Raises £44 Million to Help Fuel Expansion, "Launching Our Bank is a Key Next Step"". Crowdfund Insider. 3 August 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  29. "Zopa turns to US banking giant for help as peer-to-peer firm looks to raise up to £150m in three weeks - or risk failing in its bid to become a bank". This is Money. 12 November 2019. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  30. Hurst, Samantha (4 August 2016). "Zopa Relocates: Moves Into New London Bridge Digs". Crowdfund Insider. Crowded Media Group.
  31. "Zopa Establishes Development Center in Barcelona | Crowdfund Insider". Crowdfund Insider. 7 June 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
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