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Zopa creates separate board for neo-bank, hires four new NEDs

The world’s original P2P lender has announced a governance restructuring ahead of the hotly-anticipated launch of its bank.

a group of men sitting in chairs

Leading fintech lender Zopa is creating separate boards for its peer-to-peer lending business, its proposed bank and for the Group as a whole. The intention is to ensure good governance and to protect customer interests as the business scales and expands into new markets.

Overseeing the new governance structure will be a clutch of newly-hired independent non-executive directors.

Christine Farnish CBE, well-known in the sector for her work over the past six years as chair of the P2P Finance Association, has been appointed as an independent non-executive director and will chair the new P2P board.

A trio of independent non-executive directors have been appointed to oversee Zopa’s planned banking operations. Peter Herbert will chair the bank board. He was most recently chief executive officer at Tandem, a digital bank, and boasts 40 years’ experience in financial services, including a stint as group head of strategy and managing director of Barclaycard.

Joining Herbert as independent non-executive directors of the proposed bank are Richard Goulding and Paul Cutter. Goulding served as group chief risk officer and director at Standard Chartered Bank for 10 years, and is already a non-executive director at the Bank of Ireland and CitiGroup Global Markets Ltd. Cutter is a technology specialist who has been chief technology officer at Paddy Power Betfair since 2014.

Giles Andrews, Zopa Group chair and former CEO, said that he is excited to have so experienced a group of independent non-executive directors to support the next stage of the company’s growth. Zopa Group will henceforth act as parent company to the peer-to-peer business and to the proposed bank.

“These appointments represent another major building block in our ambition to make Zopa the best place for its customers’ money,” said Andrews.  

Zopa became the world’s first ever P2P lender when it launched in the UK way back in 2005. Since then, it has lent a cumulative total of approximately £3.2bn, according to AltFi Data. The company announced its intention to launch a next-generation bank in November 2016.

Zopa's bank build is being led by Didier Baclin, pictured above speaking at this year's AltFi London Summit

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