Zopa is the world's first online marketplace where people meet to lend and borrow money. Lenders get great returns and borrowers get low-cost loans. With no bank in the middle, both parties get better rates.
Launched in March 2005, Zopa was the very first online 'peer-to-peer' lending marketplace anywhere in the world – a true UK innovation in the dotcom world normally dominated by the USA.
Zopa has around half a million members who have now lent more than £308 million between each other.
There are now more than 35 competitor peer-to-peer lenders set up around the world.
Briefly, how does peer to peer lending at Zopa work?
Peer-to-peer lending works by bypassing banks and their high charges, to deliver better rates directly to both borrowers and savers. At Zopa we match sensible borrowers looking for low rate loans with smart savers looking for higher interest on their savings.
What's in it for consumers?
Lenders are enjoying a smart way of getting a return, alongside their savings and investments. The projected return is 5.1% (after fee for lending for up to 5 years).
Borrowers are finding it a fair and human way of getting a low-cost loan. They are enjoying market-leading rates, with a typical APR currently of around 6.4% (based on £5,000 over 3 years across all Zopa markets), and the flexibility to repay their loan early at no extra cost.
Risks are kept to a minimum
To protect lenders' money, Zopa uses all the safety measures banks use, plus a few more. All borrowers are identity-checked, credit scored and risk-assessed, and lenders' money is lent out in small chunks of £10 to Zopa borrowers to spread any risk of default.
Charges are clear, simple and low
Zopa runs a simple and transparent charging model: lenders pay an annual fee of 1% on the money they lend, and borrowers pay a fixed fee which is added to their loan and reflected in the APR figures quoted. There are no hidden charges or any form of early repayment fee.
Much more information is available elsewhere on this site, below in the press release archive and on request from our press contacts below.
All enquiries from the media should be put to:
Helena Reid/Hannah Warmington, Brands2Life, on +44 (0)207 592 1200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to interview or feature a Zopa member as a case study, simply call or email our press contacts above.
Zopa has around 500,000 members across the whole of the UK, many of whom are pleased to share their thoughts on Zopa:
"I am so pleased and impressed with Zopa's fuss free supportive service and particularly as I have experienced first hand the hoops customers have to jump through to get a loan from the banks" - Sue, Cardiff
"Primary reason I lend is that I can get a better rate of return, but it also feels good to be lending to real people who are able to borrow via Zopa at a lower rate than from many other lenders." - Peter, Hertfordshire
Press release archive
Click a date to find an archive
- 6th December 2011 - Zopa loans are a no-brainer this Christmas
- 7th September 2011 - Research reveals consumers don't know how banks make money from them
- 22nd June 2011 - Peer-to-peer lending offers a lifeline to dejected fixed rate savers
- 24th May 2011 - Savers looking to beat inflation are shunned by the banks
- 10th May 2011 - Banks continue to treat customers with contempt as credit card interest rates hit 13 year high
- 8th March 2011 - World's first P2P lender Zopa celebrates its 6th birthday with a further 80% growth in business over the last year
- 26th January 2011 - Zopa launches its first TV ad campaign with a challenge to banks
- 9th November 2010 - Zopa launches instant access feature for lenders
- 30th September 2010 - Zopa lending passes £100 million milestone
- 23rd March 2010 - Banks are hiding their low rates behind ISA benefit, claims Zopa
- 22rd March 2010 - Why won't banks let borrowers repay loans early?
- 4th March 2010 - Zopa lending doubles to more than £70 million in just 12 months
- 11th January 2010 - Person-to-person lending comes of age in UK as Zopa doubles in size in 2009 alone
- 14th January 2009 - Zopa provides both borrowers and savers a vital escape from the credit crunch
- 2nd March 2009 - Zopa celebrates its 4th birthday by passing the £35 million in loans milestone
- 17th March 2009 - Creditworthy bargain hunters frustrated by banks can get low cost loans from Zopa
- 6th May 2009 - More than £40 million has now been lent between Zopa members – an increase of 35% since January 1st
- 17th June 2009 - Banks charging unprecedented spreads between savings and loans highlights importance of the Zopa alternative
- 16th July 2009 - 'Olderpreneur' scheme launched to provide funding for new business start-ups by people 50 or older – with guarantees for lenders
- 4th August 2009 - Banks continue to treat consumers with contempt
- 5th August 2009 - Zopa passes the £50 million of loans milestone as person-to-person lending leaps in popularity
- 23td September 2009 - Silver surfers flock to Zopa to improve their standard of living in retirement
- 12th November 2009 - Borrowers beware – early repayment fees are back
- 7th December 2009 - Zopa offers one year's free lending to help prepare for record demand for loans in January
- 16th Januray 2008 - 2008 will be the year peer-to-peer personal finance goes mainstream
- 7th March 2008 - Zopa marks three years of Social Lending with launch in Japan
- 3rd April 2008 - Zopa beats PayPal, Wal-Mart, Vodafone and Prosper as the biggest threat to banks across the world
- 7th July 2008 - Zopa membership passes the 200,000 mark
- 15th July 2008 - Zopa is an ideal way to fund the wedding you want
- 30th July 2008 - Zopa launches unique 'Young Markets' service
- 1st September 2008 - Zopa UK passes £25 million mark in P2P loans
- 7th November 2008 - Where else can you get a return of 10% fixed for three years in the current climate?
- 2nd December 2008 - As UK consumers withdraw record amounts from the banks, Zopa offers a uniquely attractive alternative - paying fixed rate returns of 10%
- 5th June 2007 - Banking Industry votes Social Lending as the future of finance
- 30th July 2007 - Nervous equity investors should consider Zopa lending to secure low risk returns of 7% up to more than 10%
- 11th october 2007 - As the credit crisis pushes up the cost of personal loans, Social Lending comes into its own
- 17th September - Northern Rock debacle highlights the big benefits of Social Lending: complete transparency and dealing with people, not Banks
- 17th December 2007 - Bypassing the banks and borrowing from people is the best way to handle this year's Christmas overhang
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