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Zopa’s 2016 – a recap

As of 30 November 2020, the Safeguard Fund was wound down with the remaining balance paid to investors. Investors affected have received email communications about the payment and how this impacts them.

2016 was Zopa’s biggest year yet. We lent over £680 million, helping 20,000 people improve their homes and 29,000 buy a car.

And at the same time, we continued to innovate so that we can provide better products and greater choice to even more customers, all delivered with our trademark high standard of customer service.

Here’s what happened:

Loan provider of the year

Zopa’s loan product has won a number of best loan provider awards this year. This includes winning the Moneywise ‘Most Trusted Loan Provider’ for the seventh year in a row, the Moneyfacts ‘Best Personal Loan Provider’ for the second year in a row and MoneySuperMarket’s ‘Best Personal Loan Provider of 2016’. We really believe that the loans we offer are simple and fair, so to receive this validation from our customers and the experts is fantastic.

UK consumers are now able to get Zopa loans in more different ways than ever before, thanks to our new partnership API that allows us to work with likeminded companies. In May we started offering phone finance through Unshackled, and from September you could apply for your loan through personal finance app Pariti. We also launched a partnership with Airbnb, which offers Zopa borrowers money off their loan when they start hosting through Airbnb.

More choices for our investors

In March we launched our three new lending products, giving our investors the wider range of options that they’ve been asking us for. The three new products, Zopa Access, Zopa Classic and Zopa Plus, offer different risk and return profiles for customers, including an option to lend without Safeguard cover in exchange for higher returns. Find out more about lending at Zopa.

While we’re still waiting for full regulation to be able to launch our ISAs, from April the Personal Savings Allowance meant that our investors could earn up to £1,000 tax-free.

Zopa makes a debut…

The second half of the year saw two landmarks.

The first was Zopa’s debut on the European capital markets, with the securitisation of a portfolio of loans. The senior tranches received the highest debut rating so far for any peer-to-peer backed assets, and we were delighted by this validation of the quality of the loans that we originate.

… and announces its bank plans

In November Zopa announced its plans to apply for a banking licence. It will sit alongside our existing peer-to-peer lending business, and will allow us to bring a greater range of simple and fair financial products to more UK customers.

The news from Zopa

Meanwhile, we’ve been busy at Zopa Towers.

By now, you must have noticed our new look? We unveiled our new logo and website in December, to better reflect our internal values and exciting growth plans.

And talking of growing, we’re now up to 200 people and had to move to a larger office in London Bridge in June. It’s good to be back under one roof, and we’ve finally got to the ping pong table we’ve been asking for! We’re still hiring too, so check out our jobs page.

It was also the perfect venue to host our second Zopathon. 50 people coded through the weekend to hack together ideas for making finance fairer. Watch the video highlights here. Or if you want to read about tech at Zopa from the people who know about it best, check out the new tech section of our blog, launched in October.