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News from Zopa Italy

This is a rough translation of an announcement on the Zopa Italy homepage:

”On 10 July 2009 Zopa Italy was notified of the cancellation of its licence to operate as a financial intermediary (106) by the Ministry of Economics and Finance, by indication of the Bank of Italy. As a consequence Zopa Italy has stopped issuing new loans and accepting registration of new lenders. The company is evaluating all initiatives, even at judicial level, in order to protect its position and its community. Zopa Italy will keep you informed on all activities put in place to safeguard an innovative, ethical and social initiative that bring benefits to all participants.”

In the UK we are very confused by this notification as Zopa Italy sought regulatory approval from the Bank of Italy and received the appropriate licence to operate before launch. We understand that there was an inspection by the Bank of Italy more recently, which highlighted some issues that Zopa Italy believed it had addressed/could address, only for the notification to arrive without further discussion.

That seems very strange – we will keep you posted with developments. This clearly has nothing to do with our regulatory position and ability to operate in the UK, but it is still very disappointing that our colleagues have to deal with this in Italy.