Zopa has been incredibly busy since it celebrated its 15th birthday in April.
The most prominent piece of news of late was, of course, when the ‘big three’ peer-to-peer lending platform was granted its bank license, but the lender has hit many more headlines too.
Here Peer2Peer Finance News explores what’s happening at the consumer lending platform.
Last month Zopa gained its long-awaited full UK bank license, paving the way for the official launch of the company’s new digital bank later this year.
Read more: How Zopa Bank can crack the savings market
The new bank is set to offer a fixed-term savings account protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The lender said that the Zopa Fixed Term Savings Account can be opened in as little as seven minutes and will offer a “competitive” rate over one to five years.
At the start of April Zopa said it is overhauling its secondary market so that investors can sell loans progressively, rather than waiting until they reach the front of the queue.
The lender said that loan sales would take approximately the same amount of time, although funds would be made available gradually.
Higher risk lending
In mid-April in response to the Covid-19 crisis, Zopa stopped lending to borrowers in higher risk bands. This meant the lender halted the origination of loans that would normally have fallen into its C, D and E risk bands.
After about a month, Zopa announced it was resuming lending to ‘C risk’ borrowers due to more data being available to assess them.
Support for customers during Covid-19
Back in March, Zopa told borrowers if they have any trouble making repayments as a result of the coronavirus they can ask for a payment freeze.
In April, following the City regulator instructing motor finance firms to offer a three-month payment break to customers in financial difficulty due to Covid-19, Zopa outlined its support for car finance consumers.
The platform said it has several options for impacted customers, for example reduced payment plans or freezing payments for a period of time but highlighted that the right action depends on individual circumstances.
The company has undergone a change in personnel recently.
At the end of May Olivia Broderick, Zopa’s group general counsel and company secretary, left the lender to join payment platform Checkout.com.
Then last month Zopa Group board member Charles Birnbaum resigned after nearly three years in the role.
And after gaining its bank license, the P2P lender shook up its board.
Zopa appointed three directors to its group board, Jeppe Zink, Scott Jones and Nicholas Aspinall, all of whom work at shareholders of the company. Meanwhile, Tim Levene, chief executive of another Zopa backer, Augmentum Fintech, resigned after eight years as an investors director.