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Fans in Westminster

With the ongoing fall-out from MP’s expenses, these days it seems being mates with George Bush might be more fashionable than being popular in Westminster. But popular Zopa is. The body politic has not only noticed Zopa’s pioneering efforts in the ‘peer to peer space’ and the rapid growth it is now experiencing, but also the banking crisis has served to highlight the importance of innovative new competitors in crucial industries like finance.

Zopa enjoys former Cabinet Office Minister Tom Watson amongst its fans, Zopa has been mentioned in a recent speech by George Osborne, it was named in July by the Government as an example of the kind of new innovative competitor the financial services industry needs in its “Reforming financial markets” White Paper and it was the only financial provider name-checked in the recent Government flagship report ‘Digital Britain’.

“So what?” you may ask. Well, having fans in high places can be quite important. Parliament IS still the place where law is made. And it is the law that dictates things like which financial products get tax relief (ISAs, pensions etc) and removes unintended tax and legal hurdles to new competitors having the positive impact and benefit to the UK population that they should have.

So rather than blushing at its recent attention from politicians and officials, Zopa is warmly welcoming it. It is enjoying increasingly productive dialogue with the Government, opposition parties, think tanks, consumer groups, trade bodies and more. Zopa wants policy makers and their influencers to see what an interesting idea it is, and how with some sensible amendment to the laws and red tape that controls the financial services world, its innovative ‘new way’ could have even greater positive impact on the UK. Increased competition for the banks, a new and very attractive alternative for savers and investors, increased availability of credit for sensible, creditworthy borrowers, even a great new way for pensioners to generate a better income in retirement.

So the next time a politician knocks on your door to seek your vote, why not ask him or her what they have done to support the growth and success of innovative new ways of doing things like Zopa. In the meantime, watch this space for news of how Zopa’s dialogue with Westminster could create even more attractive offers for its members.