May was another busy month in the world of Zopa and peer-to-peer. Here’s your quick catch-up:
News from Zopa
Zopa’s two new products were covered widely in the press. The first was Zopa Car ReFi, our new switch and save service to help UK borrowers find a better deal for their car finance. It was covered in This Is Money, the Daily Mail’s online money site, City AM and AltFi News, among others.
The week after saw the launch of UNSHACKLED.com, a new service that does away with the hidden complexities of mobile phone contracts by allowing you to buy your handset and Sim separately. Zopa provides the finance so that customers can spread the cost of their handset over 24 months. It was covered in the Mirror, City AM, Crowdfund Insider as well as a number of other places.
The Sharing Economy profiled
The Daily Mail took a look at the different ways real people are using the sharing economy to make money. It featured Zopa’s very own Head of PR, Mat Gazeley, who told them how he uses BlaBlaCar to help cover the cost of his commute, as well as Airbnb for holiday accommodation, JustPark to rent out his parking space and, of course, Zopa for lending money.
Christine Farnish, chair of the P2PFA, talked to the Telegraph about her role as head of the peer-to-peer industry body, her previous role at the regulator and her response to the Lord Turner comments in February (you can read more about that on our February press round-up). “We’re the Google generation of financial services,” she told them.
The departure of Lending Club’s CEO
Early May saw the departure of the CEO of Lending Club, the USA’s largest peer-to-peer lending platform. Naturally, there was lots of interest about what these developments would mean for the UK peer-to-peer sector, for example this article in the FT.
It quoted Bruce Davis, one of Zopa’s early co-founders and more recently a co-founder of Abundance, who explained why a similar situation is unlikely to evolve in the UK: “When the US regulator decided to force fit the idea of P2P lending into the existing regulatory framework it created a number of simmering tensions and pressures on those businesses and the way they operate. This is in contrast to the UK, where the focus was on making sure that consumer protections were proportionate to the risks.”
Meanwhile, closer to home…
Deloitte released a report on the future of the peer-to-peer lending industry [link to our blog post]. Last month’s Funding Circle securitisation deal was discussed in the FT and the Daily Mail compared the loan information made available by the UK’s three biggest peer-to-peer lenders.
Challenger bank Tandem raised £1 million in 20 minutes through crowdfunding platform, Seedrs, following in the footsteps of Mondo, which hit its £1 million crowdfunding target in just 96 seconds in March. Money transfer service, TransferWise completed a funding round worth $26 million, leading to speculation that it’s now valued at $1.1 billion.
Want to read more?
Catch up on April’s peer-to-peer news round-up.