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Zopa primes credit card as long-awaited full banking licence granted

A fixed-term savings account is also in-development.

a man in a suit

Jaidev Janardana/Zopa.

Some 18 months after entering the mobilisation stage of getting its banking licence, Zopa has finally been awarded its full licence. 

The news this morning means the alternative lender (and now bank) can push ahead with its plan to launch a fixed-term savings account of between 1-5 years. 

“Now more than ever the banking industry needs innovative, agile providers who work on behalf of customers. At a time when people want great value, fair financial services products and simple, intuitive digital experience, Zopa offers consumers a compelling and credible alternative they can trust,” said Zopa CEO Jaidev Janardana. 

“Securing our banking licence enables Zopa to play a wider role in the financial lives of our customers, as well as offering much needed choice and competition to the wider market. 

As well as a fixed-term saver, Zopa said it is working on an “innovative credit card” to come out later in the year. 

While few details on the credit card were revealed, Zopa did say that it will “address the needs of customers who have had to put up with poor service and unclear pricing from their existing card providers." 

These new lending and savings products will sit alongside Zopa’s peer-to-peer offerings of personal loan and auto loan, but will operate under Zopa Bank rather than Zopa Limited (both of which will form part of Zopa Group). 

“Beyond the current pandemic, Zopa is uniquely placed to provide a compelling alternative to traditional banking by leveraging its significant technological and financial services expertise to offer a wider range of great products, including savings and credit cards, alongside its personal loans and investments,” added Janardana.

Zopa has had a tricky time reaching this stage of having its full licence approved, in December it was forced into a risky 11th hour fundraise after cash from Kapil Wadhawan failed to materialise for the lender's crucial regulatory deadline to secure its licence.

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