Frequently asked questions
- Who is behind Zopa?
- What does 'Zopa' mean?
- How long has Zopa been around?
- Is Zopa regulated?
- What are the requirements for joining Zopa?
- How do I sign up to Zopa?
- Can I buy shares in Zopa?
- What does Zopa get out of this?
- What happens if Zopa fails?
- How can I contact Zopa?
- What is Zopa's data protection policy?
- What are the Loan Conditions?
- Is Zopa covered by the FSCS?
Who is behind Zopa?
Zopa is run by a team who draw experience from a range of industries including Financial Services and is backed by the firms who also invested in companies such as eBay, Betfair and Lovefilm..
What does 'Zopa' mean?
Zopa is a term taken from business theory. It stands for Zone of Possible Agreement and is the overlap between one person's bottom line (the lowest they're prepared to get for something) and another person's top line (the most they're prepared to give for something). If there's no Zopa, there's no deal.
How long has Zopa been around?
Zopa launched in the UK in March 2005.
Is Zopa regulated?
Zopa has received credit licenses from the Office of Fair Trading (No. 563134). Zopa is a member of CIFAS - the UK's leading anti-fraud association, and we are registered with the Office of the Information Commissioner (No. Z879078).
Currently we are not regulated by the FSA as none of our activity warrants regulation. Zopa's business as a lending and borrowing exchange is quite new and does not fall under any of the existing regulatory categories, and as a result the FSA would need an act of parliament to create a new one. We were closely monitored by the FSA whilst we performed activity that required regulation (the selling of insurance).
The company registration number of Zopa Ltd. is 05197592, and its registered office is 2nd Floor, Julia House, 40 - 44 Newman Street, London W1T 1QD.
What are the requirements for joining Zopa?
You can only join Zopa UK if:
- You are a current UK resident
- You are over 18
- You have a UK current account
- You have at least 3 years of UK credit history (this applies if you are looking to borrow).
All Zopa members have to be UK residents who are registered on the electoral roll in order to comply with UK Money Laundering Regulations.
How do I sign up to Zopa?
To get started you can simply choose one of these options from the top menu on the site: 'Get a Loan' to borrow money or 'Grow your savings' to lend money, depending on why you've come to Zopa. You are able to lend and borrow with the same account so if you want to do both don't worry you can update your account to access other services at any time.
Can I buy shares in Zopa?
Unfortunately not. Zopa is a limited company and does not have publicly listed shares.
What does Zopa get out of this?
Zopa makes money by charging lenders and borrowers a fee and by introducing borrowers to other loan providers if Zopa can't help them out.
What happens if Zopa fails?
Zopa is run by a small team drawing experience from a range of industries including financial services. The team is backed by experienced investors, such as Benchmark (who backed eBay), Bessemer Venture Partners (who backed Skype), Wellington Partners, Tim Draper and The Rowland Family. So the risk of Zopa failing is minimal.
However, if Zopa did go out of business, the loan agreements would still stand because Zopa is not a party to any loan contracts; it only provides the mechanism for agreeing them. Zopa has robust contingency arrangements in place to ensure that should for any reason it close, another business will take over, helping to ensure borrowers continue to pay off their loans and interest as scheduled. The 1% fee paid by Zopa lenders would be sufficient to pay for this on an ongoing basis. Missed payments will continue to be collected by Credit Resource Solutions Ltd, the collections agency that is appointed by Zopa lenders to collect missed payments under the Zopa Principles. The costs of collections activity will not vary if Zopa has failed.
Debts assigned to P2PS Limited would continue to be pursued where possible and any sums recovered returned under the current principles as if Zopa still existed.
Any money that has been transferred into Zopa and not lent out is held in a segregated bank account at Royal Bank of Scotland. So if Zopa did go out of business, that money would be returned to the lenders.
How can I contact Zopa?
By clicking here. This will take to a page where you can email Zopa your query.
What is Zopa's data protection policy?
Zopa conforms to all UK data protection laws. We will never reveal any information other than that which is specific to the running of the Zopa markets. Full details of what information will be required to join Zopa, how we use that information, what will be made available to other members or third parties and our member contact preferences are in the Zopa Principles that all members must read and agree to when joining.
What are the Loan Conditions?
They are as follows...
These Loan Conditions will apply to each Loan Contract entered into through the Lending Platform. Capitalised terms not otherwise defined in these Loan Conditions have the meaning given in clause 14.
You must repay the total amount payable under each Loan Contract by paying the instalments and at the times shown in this contract note. Prompt payment is essential. If you are late in paying an instalment, in addition to the right to enforce the Loan Contract, you must pay interest on the instalment from when it is due until when it is paid at the interest rate represented by the Rate of Interest.
Your obligation to make such repayments will be satisfied by making payments into the Zopa Members' Account.
Each repayment will be pro rated between the Lenders in accordance with each Loan Contract and used:
- first to pay the monthly instalment, (interest and principal on the loan);
- then towards repaying any arrears on the loan and any administration charges due to Zopa or any third party under the Loan Contract.
All repayments will be made to the Lender without deduction of income tax.
If your personal or employment circumstances change (other than your ability to make one or more repayments at all) you may wish to change the date upon which you make your repayments, in which case.
- You may ask to change the date of repayment by notifying Zopa that you wish to do so and the new date within the month upon which you wish your repayments to take place. Requests must be submitted in writing and can be done by using the form on the Contact Us page at Zopa.
- Zopa will then acknowledge the request and review the request with you before effecting any change.
- Depending on whether the date is before or after the original date in the month, your repayment will be adjusted repayment to take account of the difference between the new date and the previous one. This repayment will be due at the next available opportunity, i.e. when the next new repayment date occurs.
- Zopa will send you a summary email that will state the adjusted repayment date and amount of the first repayment due on the new date. The remaining repayments (assuming no further changes) will revert to the original repayment amount.
- You will be required to accept the changes to the repayment date, the adjusted repayment amount and the date of the next repayment due, by replying to the email in paragraph 1. iv, confirming you wish to proceed. In doing so, you authorise Zopa to use your existing Direct Debit instruction to honour your new repayment schedule with immediate effect.
- Zopa may request justification for your proposed change to the repayment date and reserves the right not to complete the request if in its sole and absolute discretion it determines that the change is not due to an appropriate change in circumstances or that the process set out above is not being followed.
2. Early Settlement
You may at any time settle your agreement early and end the Loan Contract in whole or in part by following the instructions in My Zopa and repaying the full or partial amount you wish to repay. You agree that Zopa or the Collections Agency will, on the Lenders' behalf, demand repayment of the full amount owed by you under your Loan Contract if you:
- pay late for more than two consecutive months;
- have lied in a way which affects the decision to allow you to register as a Zopa Member; or
- die, become bankrupt or make a voluntary applicable with people you owe money to.
Before making any demand, Zopa will take all the steps the Lenders are required to take by law for your protection.
3. Charges and missing payments
To borrow at www.zopa.com, you must pay Zopa the applicable Borrowing Fee.
To take advantage of the Fast-Track service - where if your application is successful you receive the credit sum within one working day of approval - you will be charged the applicable Fast Track Fee.
Missing payments could have severe consequences, including commencement of legal proceedings and an adverse report on your credit history, which may make obtaining credit more difficult.
If you are late in making payment, the Collections Agency may charge you an administration fee for the work it does in attempting to collect your repayments ("Late Payment Fee"). The Late Payment Fee will be 22.5% of the amount that is overdue (which amount shall include any interest that accrues on overdue amounts) except where a field agent is required as part of the collections process, in which case the Late Payment Fee will be 40% of the amount overdue. The Collections Agency reserves the right to change the percentage charged (over which neither the Lenders nor Zopa has any control).
Other fees or charges that may be charged by Zopa or the Collections Agency in relation to the Loan Contract and added to the balance outstanding are:
- Tracing charges (for finding you if you cannot be contacted by Zopa or the Collections Agency) - £25
- Charges for document retrieval and copying up to 20 pages (other than as a result of statutory entitlement, for which there may still be a charge as provided by statute) - £35
- Debt counselling service (if you fall into arrears and Zopa or the Collections Agency cannot contact you) - £80
- Litigation costs and expenses, including legal fees and expenses, to cover litigation recovering outstanding arrears, in which case you will be advised of the cost if such action proves necessary.
You will be notified if these charges change in nature or amount.
4. Statement of Account
You have the right to receive, on request, and free of charge, at any time throughout the duration of the agreement, a statement in the form of a table showing:
- the details of each instalment owing under the agreement;
- the date on which each instalment is due, the amount and any conditions relating to the payment of the instalment;
- a breakdown of each instalment showing how much comprises:
- capital repayment,
- interest payment, and,
- if applicable, any other charges.
5. Other costs that are not paid via Zopa, the Lenders or imposed by them
You are responsible for any telecommunications charges, digital television subscription or other charges for the time you spend accessing www.zopa.com via the Internet or any wireless, television or other relevant network.
6. Assignment of Loan Contracts
Each Lender may assign his or her right, title and interest in the Loan Contract and all associated rights under the Zopa Principles to any third party via the Lending Platform (or any trading exchange approved by Zopa for that purpose).
Your rights and obligations under a Loan Contract that has been assigned shall not be adversely affected in any way whatsoever.
You shall not be entitled to assign any Loan Contract.
7. Law applicable to the conclusion of a distance contract
The laws of the United Kingdom (and English law in particular) are the basis for the establishment of relations with you prior to the conclusion of the Loan Contract.
8. Law applicable to the Loan Contract
The Loan Contract is governed by and construed in accordance with English law; and the parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.
9. Language of this document, the Loan Contract and Contractual Communications
The Loan Contract and all related documentation are in the English language; and the Lenders undertake to communicate with you in English during the duration of the Loan Contract.
If any part of the Loan Contract that is not fundamental is found to be illegal or unenforceable, such finding will not affect the validity or enforceability of the remainder of the Loan Contract.
Any waiver by either party of a breach of any provision of the Loan Contract shall not be considered to be a waiver of any subsequent breach of the same, or any other, provision.
Any notices given to you in relation to any Loan Contract may be put in your My Zopa, in which case you will also receive by email to your email address a prompt to refer to your My Zopa.
The records kept by Zopa shall be conclusive of the facts and matters they purport to record except where there is an obvious mistake.
You confirm that you have a regular source of income, do not expect this to change over the lifetime of the Zopa loan and have no reason to think that you will be unable to make the repayments required.
Once you have signed the Loan Contract and submitted your completed application to Zopa, you will have for FOURTEEN calendar days (starting the day on which you agree to the offer) a right to cancel the Loan Contract, orally or in writing without giving a reason.
If you wish to cancel the Loan Contract:
- you can send a WRITTEN notice of cancellation to firstname.lastname@example.org or cancel ORALLY by calling 0207 580 6060 (please be aware conversations may be recorded for evidentiary purposes);
- you must repay the whole loan amount (including interest charged, but not the Borrowing Fee);
- you must ensure the repayable amount is repaid to the Zopa Members' Repayment Account within 30 (THIRTY) days of sending your written notice of cancellation or cancelling orally. Should funds fail to reach that account by this time, you will be deemed to have accepted the Loan Contract such that our normal terms and conditions will apply as if the Loan Contract had not been cancelled.
12. Complaints and complaints handling
If you want to make a complaint about the Loan Contract or Zopa you can email email@example.com with brief details of your complaint and your account reference. Zopa will acknowledge your complaint within one business day. Zopa will then investigate and send you an initial response. This should take no longer than five business days. If you are not satisfied by Zopa's response, you may contact the Customer Services Manager who will respond by email within a further five business days.
If you are not satisfied with the response from the Customer Services Manager you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, enclosing responses already given to you. Your email will then be referred to the Chief Executive Officer, who will respond within a final five business days.
Within four weeks after receiving a complaint, we will send you either a final response or a response which explains why we are not in a position to resolve the complaint and/or indicates when we will make further contact. Complaints that cannot be settled within eight weeks of the date of complaint may ultimately be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
You also have the right to make a complaint directly to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
13. List of Lenders
You can view a list of your Lenders, including how much each of them has lent you and at what rate, will be available in the "Borrowing" section of "My Zopa". This can be accessed by logging in securely to www.zopa.com.
14. Defined Terms
In these Loan Conditions the following words have the following meanings-
means the fee charged by us for enabling you to borrow on the Lending Platform, as specified in your Personalised Quote and the subsequent Loan Contract (if agreed);
"Borrower", "You", "Your"
means the Zopa Member identified as the Borrower in the Loan Contract;
means Credit Resource Solutions Limited of Rosemount House, Rosemount Estate, Huddersfield Road, Elland, West Yorkshire HX5 0EE or such other collections agency as we may use at any time;
means a bid which a potential Borrower posts on the Lending Platform confirming an Indicative Bid;
"Fast Track Fee"
means the fee payable by you in order to receive the net amount of credit as quickly as possible. The current Fast Track Fee is set out in Section 8.2 of the Zopa Principles;
means the Zopa Member identified as the Lender in the Loan Contract;
means the internet marketplace which Zopa operates for the purpose of matching Loan Offers and Confirmed Bids;
means the Zopa Loan Conditions agreed by each Lender when making an offer via the Lending Platform, and each Borrower when posting a Confirmed Bid;
means the agreement, incorporating the Loan Conditions, under which the Lender agrees to make a loan to the Borrower;
means the part of the Zopa website which can only be accessed by a Zopa Member, using his or her own username and Passcodes.
means Zopa Limited, whose registered office is 2nd Floor, 40-44 Newman Street, London W1T 1QD. Company Registration Number 05197592. Zopa Limited is also:
- the holder of Consumer Credit Licence Number 563134
- registered with the Office of the Information Commissioner (registration number Z879078)
- a member of CIFAS;
means an individual who has completed the registration process and has been issued with his or her own Passcode;
"Zopa Members' Repayment Account" means the segregated bank account that Zopa maintains with Royal Bank of Scotland for the sole purpose of holding funds which Zopa Borrowers repay under Loan Contracts, and to which the relevant Lenders (and not Zopa) are beneficially entitled in accordance with these Loan Conditions and/or any Loan Contract to which they are a party;
means the Zopa Principles available on the uk.zopa.com website, as amended from time to time.
Is Zopa covered by the FSCS?
Zopa is not covered by the FSCS guarantee scheme because we are not a bank and therefore cannot be included. The FSCS is designed to protect bank customers should their bank go bust because if a bank goes bust, the money their customers hold with them would otherwise disappear.
As Zopa never holds any customers' money, there is no risk to it should it go bust. When a lender puts money into Zopa or receives repayments from borrowers, their money sits in a trust account at RBS - it remains entirely separate from the Zopa business. Furthermore, a legally binding contract exists between every Zopa lender and their borrowers, unaffected by Zopa's commercial position. And Zopa has robust contingency arrangements in place to ensure that should for any reason it close, another business will take over, helping to ensure borrowers continue to pay off their loans and interest as scheduled. The 1% fee paid by Zopa lenders would be sufficient to pay for this on an ongoing basis.