UK’s biggest peer-to-peer lender reopens to new investors.
Zopa, the original peer-to-peer lending platform, has lifted its recently enforced platform limit. The firm is once again accepting new money transfers, with £4.2m in capacity.
Zopa raised the drawbridge to new money in early December, saying that borrower demand had failed to keep pace with the expansion of its investor base (both in terms of new investor sign-ups and total funds available). This imbalance had been elongating investor queues, meaning that investors were having to wait longer to have their money lent out.
In an email to its investors at the time, Zopa wrote: “We believe money should be simple and fair. We don’t think it’s fair for you to wait too long to lend out your money.”
The platform limit has no effect on existing investments, it simply prevents more money from pouring in, giving the platform a chance to balance itself.
Although the investment limit has been temporarily lifted, Zopa’s usual run-rate would suggest that the £4.2m of space will be filled within a few short days. Zopa has lent out £56.9m during the past four weeks.
Zopa will soon have more to think about than simply balancing the two sides of an online marketplace. In mid-November the firm announced that it would be pursuing a banking licence – the first step in a 15-24 month journey towards launching a digital-only bank, much like a Monzo Bank or Atom Bank. But CEO Jaidev Janardana was keen to stress that Zopa is not becoming a bank, and that its peer-to-peer/marketplace lending platform will continue to operate alongside whatever is launched within the next few years.