ZOPA has stopped accepting new money transfers and has created a waiting list for new investors, in order to prioritise existing customers and prevent lending queue times from increasing.
The world’s oldest peer-to-peer lender had temporarily capped investments in December due to an imbalance between lenders and borrowers, but this is the first time that the platform has actually created a waiting list.
The waiting list went live on the afternoon of Thursday 9 March.
Existing customers will be able to invest as usual.
“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.
“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.”
It is thought that the waiting list will be monitored to see if it needs to remain a permanent fixture on the platform.
The P2P sector has experienced phenomenal growth over the past year. Last month, Zopa, lent out more than £81m – a 42 per cent increase from the £57m lent out in February 2016.
In an era of historically low interest rates, investors have flocked to peer-to-peer lending platforms in search of yield, giving platforms the challenge of finding enough new borrowers to match the influx of funds.
Zopa recently told Peer-to-Peer Finance News that it is considering moving into the secured car finance space in order to attract more borrowers.
Last November, Zopa announced that it is launching a digital bank to sit alongside its P2P business. It said at the time that it is planning to apply for a banking licence and hopes to gain approval within 15 to 24 months.