Zopa, the oldest and largest peer-to-peer lending platform in the UK, has introduced a waiting list for new investors on the platform. The new setup applies to both institutional and individual investors, and follows on from the “platform limit” which was introduced in December.
The platform limit mechanism allows Zopa to stop accepting new investor funds when deployment times for its various investment accounts are stretched. Zopa constantly monitors these times – which represent the times taken for new investor money to be lent out to borrowers – and can temporarily call a halt to new investments.
The newly introduced waiting list is an attempt to place a greater weight of emphasis on existing investors, by moderating the on-boarding of new customers. Zopa doesn’t yet know how long the waiting list will be, but says that it will try to manage it such that it’s never too long.
“Zopa is committed to our loyal lending customers, many of whom have invested through Zopa for over a decade,” said Zopa’s Chief Product Officer, Andrew Lawson (pictured above). “As we continue to grow, it is extremely important for us to prioritise our existing customers. Too often, financial services providers offer new customers their best deals, at Zopa, we don’t think that’s right.”
Of course, this wouldn’t be an issue at all if originations were outstripping investments. It would appear that Zopa is overweight investment at the moment.
The firm says that it enjoyed a strong February with £81m lent to consumers, which represents a 42 per cent year-on-year growth rate. But clearly there’s a way to go before originations can be brought level with investor demand – hence the new waiting list.